So the Trump Administration announced that they have asked 46 of the US Attorneys to resign. There’s been some moaning from the Left but as no less than Vox reminds us, this is normal. Janet Reno asked all the USAs to resign when Clinton did office. So did Bush 43. Obama waited a few months but eventually replaced them all. The USAs are political appointees. Most administrations will let them hold over long enough to finish any important business and for a replacement to be chosen. But all Presidents want the 94 USAs to reflect their law enforcement priorities. Trump won the election, he gets to pick his prosecutors.
There was a mini-scandal when Bush fired some USAs midway through his term. That was a bit different as he was firing his own appointees, apparently for not moving fast enough on cases against his political opponents. Several members of the Justice Department ended up resigning over it, including AG Gonzalez. But Trump’s firing are not that. This is typical house-cleaning for a new Administration.
Today, however, USA Preet Bharara decided to make his bid for jumping into politics. That’s the only reason I can think of that he decided to tell the press he would refuse to resign. This was somewhat unprecedented. USAs serve at the pleasures of the President and he can ask them to resign at any time. He was apparently miffed that Trump told him he’d be allowed to stay on, then changed his mind.
Bharara has been immediately proclaimed a hero in some quarters, with many calling for him to run for public office. But as I pointed out on Twitter this was not “bold defiance”. This was a USA refusing to follow lawful instructions to make himself look like a hero. I said Trump should fire his ass.
Well, Bharara just tweeted out that Trump fired his ass. Good. Trump is perfectly within his rights here. I only hope the replacement is better. Bharara may sound familiar to you. He was the overreaching prosecutor who tried to force The Best Magazine on the Planet to reveal the identities of blog commenters who said things he didn’t like, then silenced Reason about even the existence of the subpoena. Anyone who would abuse his power that way does not belong in government. And the Left should not try making this guy into a hero just because he stuck a thumb in Trump’s eye.