So, after Donald Trump said during his campaign that Preet Bharara should be reappointed, he has now fired the man. Bharara, of course, was not only the best U.S. Attorney in the country and a hero of epic proportions, he was also a modern day Eliot Ness. The list of miscreants he was in the process of bringing down is extraordinary and it includes some bad people on Wall Street. Donald “The Liar” Trump‘s decision to fire Bharara after having invited him to stay is just one more prevarication.
There is so much to talk about here. What could have been on Trump’s mind? Could it be that Trump expected that when he asked Bharara to stay on, he would be “owed one” from Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Bharara’s mentor? Perhaps when Schumer dared to oppose Trump on major substantive and procedural issues, Trump the bully decided to strike against the brilliant federal attorney to get even? Could it be that Trump expected Bharara to toe the line and that Bharara was on to something about Trump that may have led to serious legal trouble for the President? Could it be that one of the Wall Street Trumpers with a lot of money called the president and asked him to deep six Bharara who might have been getting too close to carving yet another notch on his prosecutorial gun?
It is no secret that some of Andrew Cuomo’s closest associates are coming up for trial and that there is an expectation on the part of some that when that trial happens, those Cuomo pals under indictment might turn on the governor. Cuomo has sure been relatively silent about Trump, especially when you compare him to the state’s Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman. Maybe Trump is actually rewarding Cuomo for his lack of criticism by throwing Preet Bharara under the bus. The point is that no one really knows and that both voters all around the country and people in the political class will be wondering about this.
So what happens to Preet Bharara now? He could make a mint in a private law practice or he could run for political office. Which one, you ask? Well, there no love lost between Bharara and the governor. Cuomo came under blistering criticism from Bharara when he infamously killed his own Moreland Act Commission that was investigating corruption in New York. Up to now, everyone in politics assumed that Cuomo was going to have a free ride for his 2018 gubernatorial run. Now there will be those who want the crusading U.S. Attorney to run for the top executive job in New York. That would be a battle! People might really get a choice. I can just hear the groundswell of people yelling, “Run, Preet, run.”
It would not be a walk in the park for Bharara, of course. The Cuomo name is still important to some people in the five boroughs and Long Island, and believe it or not, there are still a lot of people who do not know Preet Bharara. But what Bharara has going for him is his commitment to cleaning up the Albany swamp. People despise the Legislature which they consider a self-serving bunch of crooks. You will remember that Andrew Cuomo ran on a platform of cleaning up Albany. To put it mildly, that didn’t happen. There is so much that Bharara could use against Cuomo in a Democratic primary that it could cause real embarrassment for the governor.
Of course, Chuck Schumer might be put into an awkward position. I suspect that Schumer, like most of his political colleagues, has little use for Cuomo but so far the two men have had a sort of political detente. One can only wonder whether Bharara would back off if Schumer told him not to run. This whole thing promises to be very interesting indeed.