Bharara Speaks For First Time Since Being Ousted As U.S. Attorney

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Former U.S. Attorney Preeet Bharara spoke Thursday evening, in his first public appearance since the Trump administration forced him out of his post.

Bharara criticized the Trump administration’s policies when it came to staffing changes.

“I have no complaints, I have no remorse,” he said. “There is a swamp. A lot of the system is rigged…. But I would respectfully submit you don’t drain a swamp with a slogan you don’t drain it by replacing one set of partisans with another.”

Bharara made his remarks at Cooper Union as part of the Speakers’ Series.

Bharara was appointed as U.S. attorney in Manhattan in 2009 by former President Barack Obama.

The 48-year-old Bharara was asked by then-President-elect Donald Trump to remain as U.S. attorney in Manhattan during a November meeting at Trump Tower.

But sources told CBS2 that Trump, frustrated by leaks that he believed were hurting his administration, decided to get rid of the 46 holdover U.S. attorneys from around the country who were appointed by former President Barack Obama. That included Bharara, even with his hard-won reputation for independence.

Bharara tweeted on March 11 he did not resign but that he was fired.

Late last month, NYU law school announced that Bharara was joining its team.

Bharara called the new job one way he plans to keep working hard on important issues he cares about. He starts April 1 as a distinguished scholar in residence.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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