Burning bridges and making enemies isn’t exactly a new behavior for President Donald Trump. He was, after all, a businessman. But he’s a got a new job now, and the enemies that he is making are much more powerful than before. Take ousted U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, for example.
It is not uncommon for a new administration to replace some or all of the United States attorneys when they take office. Bill Clinton dismissed all 93 sitting attorneys in the 1990s. What’s not common is to tell an attorney that he is keeping his job, then going back on your word and demanding his resignation.
And of all the U.S. attorneys, Trump picked the wrong one to pick a fight with.
Preet Bharara was the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, one of the most powerful seats of prosecutorial power in the country. Past holders of the job include former New York governor Thomas Dewey, former New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, and FBI Director James Comey. And don’t forget Rudy Giuliani. The job is associated with talented, charismatic, intelligent lawyers and Mr. Bharara is no exception.
In addition, Bharara is known as a hard-nosed attorney with a nose for sniffing out law-breakers and ethics violators, regardless of political affiliation. You’d think Trump would want to associate himself with someone with those traits, but nope.
By double-crossing Bharara, Trump has made an enemy who is smarter and more qualified than he is. Oh, and he’s just as adept at the Donald’s favorite form of communication, Twitter. Mr. Bharara could have announced his firing via a statement to the press, but no. He chose Twitter, and that wasn’t by accident. He was the first U.S. attorney to do so.
If Trump expected Bharara to roll over without a fight, he’s got another think coming.
Rachel Maddow recently did a fantastic segment on Mr. Bharara. Watch it here: