TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There was fallout Monday night from the sudden firing of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, and the demands for the resignation of 45 other U.S. attorneys.
But New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, himself a former U.S. Attorney, is defending President Donald Trump.
“You get appointed by politics and you get removed by politics,” Christie said.
Christie spoke after the Trump administration decided to seek the resignation of 46 holdover U.S. attorneys appointed by former President Barack Obama. Among them were Bharara and New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman.
“All this moaning and complaining from people like Preet Bharara and Paul Fishman and others to me is ridiculous,” Christie said. “You should not be hanging on by your fingernails being scraped off the desk to get out of the office.
And while questions remained about whether Trump asked Bharara to stay on when they met at Trump Tower during the transition, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer dismissed them.
“Not really sure how it’s relevant,” Spicer said. “At the end of the day, the Justice Department asked all 46 to submit their resignations based on precedent.”
Bharara’s ouster touched off intense speculation about how it would affect the ongoing pay-to-play investigation involving the campaign fundraising of Mayor Bill de Blasio and his aides. The questions surround whether donors received favorable treatment.
“I’m just not going to comment on it, obviously,” de Blasio said of Bharara’s dismissal. “There’s an ongoing investigation, so I’m just not going to comment on it.”
But in formally launching his mayoral campaign on Monday, Paul Massey – who has the backing of the Independence Party and is seeking the Republican mayoral nomination – unveiled an ad that made much of the corruption probes surrounding the de Blasio administration.
The ad says de Blasio is “under six different investigations. He spent over $12 million of our taxpayer money on Park Avenue criminal defense attorneys – outrageous.”
Meanwhile, the Trump administration did rescind one resignation request. Connecticut U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly said Monday that officials decided to let her remain on her post through October so she can complete 20 years of service to the Department of Justice.