U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said on Saturday that he had been fired, one day after the Justice Department asked him and 45 other federal prosecutors who had served under Democratic President Barack Obama to submit their resignations.
"I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired," Bharara wrote on Twitter. He added that serving as the federal government's prosecutor in Manhattan "will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life."
I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) March 11, 2017
Bharara has overseen the Southern District of New York, which includes Manhattan, the Bronx, Westchester and several counties north of New York City, since 2009.
President Donald Trump asked Bharara to stay on soon after he was elected in November, but on Friday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered Bharara and 45 other Obama-era attorneys to resign, which Bharara refused.
"President Trump’s abrupt and unexplained decision to summarily remove over 40 U.S. Attorneys has once again caused chaos in the federal government and led to questions about whether the Justice Department's vital and non-partisan work will continue under Attorney General Sessions, as it must," New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a statement Saturday afternoon.
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He said that Bharara's "integrity, tenacity and commitment to rooting out wrongdoing — whether in the boardroom, the halls of government or anywhere else — will be sorely missed."
Metro reporter Nikki M. Mascali contributed to this report.