Many of the federal prosecutors who were nominated by President Barack Obama have already left their positions, but the nearly four dozen who stayed on in the first weeks of the Trump administration have been asked to leave “in order to ensure a uniform transition,” Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said Friday.
“Until the new U.S. attorneys are confirmed, the dedicated career prosecutors in our U.S. attorney’s offices will continue the great work of the department in investigating, prosecuting and deterring the most violent offenders,” she said in a statement.
The abrupt order came after two weeks of increasing calls from President Donald Trump’s allies outside the government to oust appointees from Obama’s administration. Trump has been angered by a series of reports based on leaked information from a sprawling bureaucracy, as well as from his own West Wing. Several officials said the firings had been planned before Friday.
By Friday evening, U.S. attorneys around the country — including New Jersey, Rhode Island, Minnesota and Montana — had publicly announced their resignations.
But in New York, one of the most high-profile federal prosecutors in the country was fired Saturday after refusing to submit a letter of resignation.
“I did not resign,” Preet Bharara said on Twitter. “Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.”