aside Preet Bharara Has His Say Over The Comey Firing

Image result for photo of preet bharara

Preet Bharara was the US prosecutor whom the republican President Donald Trump had summarily fired in January 2017, after the president had previously invited him to stay. I suspect that one of the main reasons for the dismissal of Mr. Bharara has to do with  his legal pursuit at the time, of the Deutsche Bank for its Russian money laundering schemes. Numerous reports indicate that the president’s number one creditor has been shown to have laundered Russian dirty monies to the tune of about ten billion dollars.

Here is Mr. Bharara’s thoughts on the president’s firing of the FBI Director James Comey on 5/9/17…

On 5/14/17, Preet Bharara penned the following op-ed piece for Washington Post, “Preet Bharara: Are there still public servants who will say no to the president?”

Preet Bharara, a scholar in residence at NY University Law School, was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2009 until this March.

“The most dramatic hearing I helped to arrange as chief counsel to a Senate subcommittee took place 10 years ago Monday, when James B. Comey, then the deputy attorney general in the George W. Bush administration, described how he and FBI Director Robert Mueller intervened at the hospital bedside of Attorney General John Ashcroft.”

“The encounter occurred in 2004,  after White House Chief of Staff Andrew H. Card Jr. and White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales tried to overrule Comey’s and Mueller’s legal objection to a secret terrorist surveillance program. When the White House nonetheless sought the ailing Ashcroft’s blessing to proceed, Comey prepared to resign. Ultimately, Comey and Mueller prevailed.”

 “Jim Comey was once my boss and remains my friend. I know that many people are mad at him. He has at different times become a cause for people’s frustration and anger on both sides of the aisle. Some of those people may have a point. But on this unsettling anniversary of that testimony, I am proud to know a man who had the courage to say no to a president.”

“And in the tumult of this time, the question whose answer we should perhaps fear the most is the one evoked by that showdown: Are there still public servants who are prepared to say no to the president?”

Image result for photo of preet bharara“Now, as the country once again wonders whether justice can be nonpolitical and whether its leaders understand the most basic principles of prosecutorial independence and the rule of law, I recall yet another firestorm that erupted 10 years ago over the abrupt and poorly explained firing of top Justice Department officials in the midst of sensitive investigations. The 2007 affair was not Watergate, the more popular parallel invoked lately, but the lessons of that spring, after the Bush administration inexplicably fired more than eight of its own U.S. attorneys, are worth recalling.”

“When the actions became public, people suspected political interference and obstruction. Democrats were the most vocal, but some Republicans asked questions, too. The uproar intensified as it became clear that the initial explanations were mere pretext, and the White House couldn’t keep its story straight. Public confidence ebbed, and Congress began to investigate.”

“In response, the Senate launched a bipartisan (yes, bipartisan) investigation into those firings and the politicization of the Justice Department. Early on, the then-deputy attorney general — Comey was gone by then — looked senators in the eye and said the U.S. attorneys were fired for cause; although such appointees certainly serve at will, this assertion turned out to be demonstrably false. We learned that the U.S. attorney in New Mexico, David C. Iglesias, was fired soon after receiving an improper call from Republican Sen. Pete V. Domenici pushing him to bring political corruption cases before the election. We learned that Justice Department officials in Washington had improperly applied a conservative ideological litmus test to attorneys seeking career positions, to immigration judges and even to the hiring of interns.”

Alberto Gonzales

“Ultimately, amid the drumbeat of revelations, every top leader of the department stepped down under a cloud. Finally, Gonzales himself resigned. Strict protocols were put in place severely limiting White House contacts with Justice officials on criminal matters. The blow to the morale and reputation of the department was incalculable.”

“For me,the past week has been deja vu all over again. To restore faith in the rule of law, three obvious things must happen: First, we need a truly bipartisan investigation in Congress. That means no partisan nonsense — just a commitment to finding the facts, whatever they may be, proving (or disproving) Russian interference in our election and anything related. Congress is a check and a balance, and never more important than when a bullying chief executive used to his own way seems not to remember the co-equal status of the other two branches.”

Image result for photos of rod rosenstein and jeff sessions“Second, the new FBI director must be apolitical and sensitive to the law-enforcement mission, not someone with a long record of reflexive partisanship or commentary on the very investigative issues that will come before the bureau. Unfortunately, some of the candidates paraded by cameras this past weekend reality-show style fall into that category. I can’t think of anything worse for FBI morale, for truth-finding or for public trust. More than ever the FBI needs a strong and stabilizing hand, which means somebody who has not spent most of his or her career pandering for votes, groveling for cash or putting party over principle.
“Finally, I join in the common-sense call for an independent and un-compromised special counsel  to oversee the Russia investigation. Given the manner of Comey’s firing and the pretextual reasons proffered for it, there is no other way. My former colleague, now-Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, is a respected career prosecutor but has mostly deserved the doubts he generated with his peculiar press-release-style memo purporting to explain Comey’s sudden sacking. He can still fix it. The move would not only ensure the independence of the investigation, but also provide evidence of Rosenstein’s own independence.”

“History will judge this moment. It’s not too late to get it right, and justice demands it.”

18 comments

  1. Well said. We need more professionals and patriots to step up in our elected officials to match the far greater number of those who serve our country within the ranks.

    • Dear Keith

      When is enough is enough? Our elected officials are mum, waiting for things to blow over. Soon DDT will be out of the country and they are thinking that maybe things will quiet down. Fat chance!

      Ciao, Gronda

  2. Dear Mz. Gronda,
    Thank you for yet another well documented and thought out presentation! Can you imagine, for even a short moment, the pressure that Mr. Rosenstein is under in this matter? IMO there would be no realistic way for him to actually appoint a special prosecutor and survive, not only career wise, but physically as well. It would be virtually impossible for him to take any meaningful steps to investigate and interview any individual to accept the position without others within the agency knowing about it. The tRump still has the upper hand and until the elected senators and congressmen act in a positive way against this mans reign of terror, nothing will or can happen to stop the destruction of our nation…

    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      I suspect that you are probably right on this one. My wanting him to step up and do what is right is wishful thinking.

      But he could choose someone who is already being checked out like Admiral Rogers.

      Ciao, Gronda

  3. Perhaps it would be helpful to know what is entailed in appointing a Special Prosecutor under current and past law. Here is a link to a simple and easy to understand outline of the process and what it would take to make it happen.

    http://www.lecs-center.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=230%3Aon-special-prosecutors-usa&catid=44%3Aevents&lang=en

    Perhaps this will give a little insight into the problems that Mr. Rosenstein would face if he attempts to take this action. I might note that under the prior law the congress actually did have the authority to require a Special Prosecutor be appointed.

    • I concur with Crusty, appointing a special prosecutor may not be the best course of action (thx for the link above), but rather assemble an independent commission.

      “Rather than an inquiry focused narrowly on criminal conduct, the way to resolve questions swirling around President Trump and his associates is to impanel an independent commission.

      Careful what you wish for.

      In the wake of the firing of FBI Director James Comey, many are demanding a special prosecutor into the Trump-Russia connection. It’s not appreciated enough that such an appointment could well turn into a shield for wrongdoing. A special prosecutor could wrap the investigation of the Trump-Russia matter in secrecy for months and years—and ultimately fail to answer any of the important questions demanding answers.

      Of all the types of independent investigation that have been suggested, a special prosecutor is the most likely to disappear down rabbit holes—the least likely answer the questions that needed to be answered. A select committee of Congress or an independent commission of nonpartisan experts established by Congress can ask the broad question: What happened? A select committee or an independent commission can organize its inquiry according to priority, leaving the secondary and tertiary issues to the historians. A select committee or an independent commission is not barred from looking at events in earlier years statutes of limitations. A select committee or an independent commission seeks truth.”

      For additional examples, read:

      https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/05/a-special-prosecutor-is-not-the-answer/526662/

      • Section 600.1 of the CFR provides that the AG will appoint a Special Counsel (SC] when the AG determines that criminal investigation is warranted and that (a)investigation by the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest or “other extraordinary circumstance” and that “under the circumstances it would be in the public interest to appoint and outside Special Counsel.” The AG’s decision is unreviewable.

        While this section does allow for the appointment of a SC, at this point in this administration, it would be political and probably career for the person that is brave enough to take this step! I really don’t see it happening. I simply don’t see Rosenstein having enough backbone to take on the GOPTP or tRump. His action in the dismissal of Comey shows his character is not what everyone assumed it would be…

        • I suspect you are correct. Unless his conscience, and they say he does have one, bothered him enough to push him into doing the right thing, regardless of consequences. Sooner or later, somebody needs to take a firm stand against this bully.

    • Dear Crustyolemothman,

      While the Congress did not retain the right to appoint a special prosecutor, it does have the ability to form an independent investigative body. I just want the investigation to be conducted outside of the purview of the executive branch.

      “We the people” need to be able to trust the work product.

      Thanks for the reference.

      Ciao, Gronda

  4. Excellent post as always, Gronda! I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Bharara … what he says makes sense. But I, too, ask the question he asks: Is there anybody left who will stand up to the bully in the Oval Office? I hope so, but I am not sure.

    Hugs!!!!

    • Dear Jill,

      Thanks for the positive feedback. Frankly anyone who stands up to him has to be careful, otherwise they are toast. You have to be willing to lose your job. But then you would leave a hole which can be filled with someone who is much worse.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Yes, that is another way to look at it. My hope at this point is that the republicans in Congress are getting so fed up with his shenanigans that they will stop bowing to his every whim and begin holding him accountable. I read earlier that even Mitch McConnell has called for “less drama in the White House”. I hope, at this point, that the Russian investigations have gained so much momentum that, like a large snowball rolling down a steep mountainside, it cannot be stopped.

        Hugs!

  5. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Preet Bharara is one of three people who, while investigating Russian ties to Trump and Co., was suddenly fired under curious circumstances. The other two were acting Attorney General Sally Yates and most recently, FBI Director James Comey. Mr. Bharara, in a recent op-ed for the Washington Post, asks the question we are all asking this week: Are there still public servants who will say no to the president? We all need to be thinking about this question, and asking ourselves where we go from here. Trump has now proven that he believes himself to be above the law … what next? My blogger-friend Gronda, as always, has provided an excellent summary off Mr. Bharara’s article … I hope you will take a moment to read it and consider what the events of the past two weeks might lead to. Thanks, Gronda, for this excellent post!

    • Dear Jill,

      Where are the profiles in courage? They are not working at the US Congress.

      Anyone who could fit this role are being dismissed.

      As always, thanks a million times over
      for the fantastic write-up, for your support and for this reblog.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • Profiles in Courage was a book about 8 senators who defied the opinions of their party and constituents to do what they felt was right and suffered severe criticism and losses in popularity. I read it many years ago, and probably ought to read it again, if for no other reason than to remind myself that there have been courageous legislators who put the good of the country before their own personal goals. It is easy to forget in the current political climate. 😦

        As always, it is my pleasure … you do great work, Gronda!

        Hugs!!!

        • Dear Jill,

          I have read that book as well. But you are right. After I read it again, I am going to purchase a couple of books and send them to 2 republican legislators.. Maybe if they were inundated with copies of this book, they might get the hint.

          Hugs, Gronda

        • That’s a great idea! I’ve been thinking about sending some of them a copy of the U.S. Constitution, since they do not seem to understand it.

          Hugs!

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