(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)
Attorney General Jeff Sessions tried to have his cake and eat it too when it came to his explanations during congressional testimony Tuesday for the firing of FBI Director James Comey.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)
Attorney General Jeff Sessions tried to have his cake and eat it too when it came to his explanations during congressional testimony Tuesday for the firing of FBI Director James Comey.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘THE ROOT’ NEWS)
Contrary to popular belief, slavery was never outlawed in the United States.
This statement is not a debatable, half-twisted analysis or a cynical opinion. It is a fact. The 13th Amendment to the Constitution does not outlaw slavery, it only prohibits slavery in certain situations. It is entirely constitutional to turn drug dealers, gangbangers and thugs into slaves. It is perfectly legal for corporations to use legions of slaves to increase their profit and pass them along to shareholders. Even though it seems like the opposite of freedom, America is totally cool it.
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
When Hillary Clinton stood at Keene University and called black men “superpredators” in January 1996, it was only a few days after the New Year’s Day release of her book It Takes a Village. In the book, Clinton spoke about her days in the Arkansas governor’s mansion and the longstanding tradition of using convicted felons as free labor.
Clinton could relax and have her dark-skinned dishwashers clean the mayonnaise residue off her finger-sandwich plates because Arkansas is one of the few states that still uses prison labor without compensating the prisoners. She was cool with it, though—except when she was forced to send “back to prison any inmate who broke a rule.” Clinton lovingly referred to the felons as “emotional illiterates,” which is a little demeaning, but apparently not as much as the ones she hadn’t locked up yet, whose powers allowed them to grow into “super predators.”
America has the largest prison population in the world. According to the Washington Post, about half of the 1.6 million people in state or federal prisons are black, even though African-Americans make up roughly 13 percent of the population. “Black Americans were incarcerated in state prisons at an average rate of 5.1 times that of white Americans,” The Guardian reported last year, “and in some states that rate was 10 times or more.” Even when convicted of the same crime as whites, black convicts, according to a 2014 study (pdf), were even more likely to serve time in private prisons.
The untold, secret story of America’s criminal-justice system is that there are large corporations benefiting from free black labor, and under the Trump administration, business is booming.
In August 2016, former President Barack Obama announced a push by his administration to end the federal use of private prisons. This directive sent private-prison stocks into a downward spiral. One of the first decisions Jeff Sessions made as the current attorney general under President Donald Trump was to reverse this order. The second move by the Sessions-led Department of Justice was to end the Obama administration’s practice of not seeking mandatory minimums for nonviolent drug offenses. When the DOJ released the memo rescinding this policy, private-prison stocks soared to an all-time high.
Perhaps Sessions’ decision was based on Republican ideals of “law and order.” Maybe it was because all conservatives believe private companies do a better job at running prisons than the government (data shows they don’t).
However, it might be because Jeff Sessions’ investment portfolio is filled with thousands of dollars in private-prison stock. It’s likely because GEO Group Inc. and CoreCivic, two of the nation’s largest private-prison operators, gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to Trump’s fundraising efforts.
There are prisons and companies all across the country who use free or barely-paid prison labor to make a profit. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, these prisoners make between 12 cents and $1.14 an hour. Some of the products and companies that benefit from this slave labor include:
This list doesn’t include the states, like Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas, which don’t pay prisoners at all for labor. Places like Angola State Prison are known for the cruel and inhumane treatment of their prisoners, forcing them to live in tents and work for free.
In February, immigration detention center detainees filed suit against GEO, the private-prison operator that made it rain on the Trump campaign. According to the lawsuit, the corporation used as many as 50,000 federal detainees to work for free, or for as little as $1 a day, even threatening some with solitary confinement for refusing to work as a slave.
As harsh as this sounds, there will be more. With the DOJ’s directive to use mandatory minimums and the renewal of the war on drugs, slavery will make a comeback under the Trump administration.
But this is all legal and constitutional. No one argues that these prisoners aren’t slaves—or even that blacks are more likely to endure this indentured servitude. The only argument for this system of slavery is that it is profitable. It remains a stain on the American flag because we live in an oligarchy. The only reason it exists is because without it, the multibillionaires at Honda, Microsoft and McDonald’s might have to live life as regular, run-of-the-mill billionaires. How else is Jeff Sessions supposed to line his pockets with the bloody dollar bills he’s earned off the backs of the oppressed?
Slavery is still legal in the U.S. because there is apparently one thing that has always trumped freedom, equality and justice: White people’s money.
… and to the Republic, for which it stands, with
liberty and justice for all.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT)
President Donald Trump is playing a dangerous game. He is adding a very disruptive ingredient to his governing approach – potentially alienating and confusing his own staff and the lawyers who are trying to defend him in his legal battle to crack down on terrorism and illegal immigration. In the process, Trump is giving everyone a window into his mind, and the view is filled with anger and an eagerness for combat, not unity or conciliation.
Trump is using Twitter to raise doubts about his own Justice Department and, indirectly, about Attorney General Jeff Sessions, his choice for that job. There are now media reports that Sessions has offered to resign and it’s not clear where he stands with his boss.
In addition, Republican lawyers warn that Trump’s tweets are undermining his legal arguments to uphold a travel ban on people from six Muslim-majority countries. Trump issued that ban with an executive order that has been blocked by lower courts and the question is now at the Supreme Court. This week, Trump used Twitter to attack the Justice Department for what Trump said was a flawed legal strategy to persuade the high court to uphold the travel ban. Trump said the department, headed by Sessions, mistakenly issued a “watered down, politically correct” version of the executive order that the lower courts stopped earlier.
After an initial outburst against the department’s softer approach, Trump was back on Twitter Monday night, declaring: “That’s right, we need a TRAVEL BAN for certain DANGEROUS countries, not some politically correct term that won’t help us protect our people!”
Among those criticizing Trump was George Conway, who recently took himself out of consideration for a top job at Justice and who is the husband of senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway. “These tweets may make some ppl feel better,” George Conway wrote on Twitter, “but they certainly won’t help OSG [the Office of Solicitor General at Justice] get 5 votes in SCOTUS which his what actually matters. Sad.” George Conway later added: “I still VERY, VERY STRONGLY support POTUS, his Admin, policies, the executive order…and of course, my wonderful wife. Which is why I said what I said this morning….The pt cannot be stressed enough that tweets on legal matters…seriously undermine Admin agenda and POTUS.” Conway said those “who support him, as I do, need to reinforce that point and not be shy about it.”
Overall, Trump typically wraps his Twitter rants in an angry and dismissive tone, and his diatribes frequently go far afield from the issues that Trump says are his top priorities, such as creating jobs, cutting taxes and overhauling the healthcare system. He even got into a public feud with London Mayor Sadiq Khan over how to respond to terrorism in the wake of the lethal attacks in London a week ago.
Trump’s major legislative accomplishment so far has been winning Senate confirmation for Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, which occurred in April. Trump’s overall agenda has stalled on Capitol Hill, and his allies say he needs to spend far more time working to revive it with members of Congress. “Any time they’re not talking about the economy or jobs, they know that’s not what the electorate is looking for,” said Republican pollster David Winston, who advises GOP leaders in Congress, in an interview with the Washington Post.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Tex., told a Dallas TV station, “Unfortunately, the president has, I think, created problems for himself by his Twitter habit.” This is a commonly held view among GOP leaders in Congress.
But there appears to be a split in the White House on how seriously the public and the media should take Trump’s tweets. White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway complained to NBC that the media have “this obsession with covering everything he says on Twitter and very little of what he does as president.” Sebastian Gorka, a White House national security adviser, told CNN that Trump’s tweeting is in a different category from official pronouncements. “It’s not policy,” Gorka said. “It’s social media.” Gorka didn’t clarify what that means. Yet other Trump advisers say the tweets represent the president’s true feelings and should be taken very seriously. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters, “Social media for the president is extremely important. It gives him the ability to speak directly to the people without the bias of the media filtering those types of communications.”
[PHOTOS: The Big Picture – May 2017]
Trump backed Sanders in a tweet Monday night, declaring, “The FAKE MSM [mainstream media] is working so hard trying to get me not to use Social Media. They hate that I can get the honest and unfiltered message out….Sorry folks, but if I would have relied on the Fake News of CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, washpost or nytimes, I would have had ZERO chance winning WH.” Trump likes Twitter because he can communicate directly with his followers whenever he wants and without a media screen.
Meanwhile, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, recently named special counsel at the Justice Department, is investigating potentially improper links between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russian meddling in the election. Mueller’s probe will provide ongoing temptations for Trump to lose his temper on Twitter, further jeopardizing the president’s congressional agenda and drawing attention away from his top priorities.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE ‘VOX’ NEWS SITE)
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)
Washington (CNN) Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Sunday he does not expect the Mexican government to outright pay for President Donald Trump’s border wall, but there are a number of ways to extract the billions of dollars needed to build it.
|Governors Urge Trump Administration to Respect State Marijuana Laws
Posted: 06 Apr 2017 02:28 PM PDT
Governors of the first four states that legalize marijuana for adults sent a letter to Trump administration officials this week asking them to respect their states’ marijuana laws.
In the letter, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee ask Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to adhere to Department of Justice’s 2013 Cole Memorandum and Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) guidance, which were distributed under the previous administration.
Some key excerpts are below, and you can read the full letter here.
The post Governors Urge Trump Administration to Respect State Marijuana Laws appeared first on MPP Blog.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NBC NEWS)
In five weeks as attorney general, Jeff Sessions has taken fire for his testimony about past meetings with Russia’s ambassador and been criticized for the abrupt removal of dozens of politically appointed U.S. attorneys around the country.
But Sessions is getting a much warmer welcome among the nation’s law enforcement community, which has largely embraced his plan to prosecute more drug and gun cases, crack down on immigration offenses and ease up on suing local police departments accused of violating minorities’ civil rights.
Sessions will further explain his plans to realign the Justice Department’s priorities on Wednesday, when he addresses a gathering of federal, state and local law enforcement officers in Richmond, Virginia. He can expect an enthusiastic response.
“Happily for us, on vast majority of issues, we’re on the same page,” said James Pasco, a senior adviser at the Fraternal Order of Police.
The Justice Department wouldn’t comment on what Sessions will say in Richmond. But a spokesman said his remarks will expand on a number of his recent actions, including a memo ordering a crackdown on violent crime and a speech that warned that a recent uptick in crime was “the beginning of a trend” that requires a “return to the ideas” that cut lawbreaking to historic lows since the 1990s.
In that Feb. 28 speech to state attorneys general, Sessions blamed Mexican drug cartels for a record spike in heroin overdoses and suggested that he would reverse Obama administration policies that sought to reduce the prosecutions of low-level, nonviolent drug offenders on charges that carried mandatory minimum prison sentences.
Sessions said in the speech that from 2010 to 2015, the number of gun and drug prosecutions had dropped. “This trend will end,” he said.
Sessions, a Republican former U.S. senator and federal prosecutor from Alabama, also signaled a new approach toward police departments accused of discriminatory policing. He said that rather than “spending scarce federal resources to sue them in court,” federal money would be better used going after criminals.
Michael Ramos, president of the National District Attorneys Association, said it was refreshing to hear Sessions promise to “get back to tough-on-crime.”
The Obama administration, Ramos said, went too far in seeking ways to reduce mandatory minimum sentences and get people out of prison. That lenience, he said, could be driving crime rates.
“We’ve gotten to a point where the pendulum is starting to swing back,” Ramos said.
Lawrence Leiser, vice president for policy at the National Association of Assistant United States Attorneys, said his organization opposed easing up on mandatory minimum sentencing and welcomed a return to earlier approaches.
He said he viewed Sessions’ take on law enforcement as “inspiring.”
“Assistant U.S. attorneys are encouraged by the attorney general’s approach to combating drug trafficking and violent crime by using all of the lawful tools that are currently available to prosecutors,” Leiser said.
That said, law enforcement officials cautioned that the Trump administration is only a couple months old, and Sessions had yet to articulate how the new priorities would be put in place.
Ronal Serpas, a former police superintendent in New Orleans and chairman of the group Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration, said he embraced Sessions’ focus on violent crime. But his group has also warned the administration against using jail and prison as the tools to attack crime more broadly.
Many nonviolent, first time offenders, particularly those suffering from mental illness or drug addiction, would be better served by alternatives, the group said in a set of recommendations for the new administration.
The group also urged Sessions to rethink his opposition to sentencing reform.
And it warned against rumored cuts to the Justice Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.
“I’d like to see the attorney general focus narrowly on the issue of violent gun and drug crime and not get distracted by the big sweeping arrests we had in the 1990s,” Serpas said. “I argued for those things back then. But I saw that those massive arrest strategies don’t work. There’s tremendous collateral damage.”
Thomas Manger, president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, said he was encouraged by the mere fact that Sessions was speaking directly to local law enforcement agencies so early in his tenure.
That’s important to many police officials who saw the Obama administration as being too critical of police during a time of eroding trust between cops and the public, he said. Much of those problems have been driven by increased scrutiny of shootings by police and an uptick in attacks on officers.
“We’re just trying to get off on the right foot and help influence things in a direction where the big cities around this country are providing the best service we can,” Manger said.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)
FBI director James Comey has confirmed for the first time that the FBI is investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.
However, Mr Comey said his agency had seen no evidence to back up President Trump’s claim that his phones had been tapped by the Obama administration.
He was giving evidence to the congressional intelligence committee.
The Trump administration said nothing had changed and there was “no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion”.
Russia has always denied attempting to influence the US presidential election.
The FBI investigation would examine possible links between individuals in the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was co-ordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, Mr Comey said.
The FBI would also assess whether crimes were committed, he said.
Mr Comey said the investigation was “very complex” and he could not give a timetable for its completion.
“We will follow the facts wherever they lead,” he said.
National Security Agency (NSA) chief Admiral Mike Rogers also appeared before the committee.
He said the NSA stood by an intelligence community report published in January, which said that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered a campaign to harm the campaign of Mr Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton.
Mr Comey said he had no information on unsubstantiated claims tweeted by Mr Trump earlier this month that former president Barack Obama had ordered a wiretap on Trump Tower.
This was despite looking carefully for such evidence, he said. The Department of Justice also had no information, he said.
What FBI Director James Comey didn’t say during intelligence hearings today on possible Russian meddling in the 2016 US election was as important as what he did say.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who had ties to pro-Russian Ukrainian politicians? No comment. Long-time Trump adviser Roger Stone, who reportedly had communications with individuals who hacked the Democratic National Committee emails? No comment. Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced to resign after leaked evidence surfaced that he had communicated with a Russian ambassador about US sanctions? No comment.
“I don’t want to answer any questions about a US person,” Mr Comey said.
All of this is evidence that the investigation isn’t just ongoing, it’s substantive and far-reaching.
While Democrats will likely be encouraged by this, it was telling that Republicans pursued the White House line that the topic of greatest concern was the intelligence leaks that put this story in the headlines.
If Mr Trump can consolidate his party’s support, it will go a long way towards insulating the president against any fallout from this investigation.
Meanwhile, Admiral Rogers strongly denied that the NSA had asked Britain’s GCHQ intelligence agency to spy on Mr Trump – a claim that had been repeated by Mr Trump’s spokesman, Sean Spicer.
The allegation “clearly frustrates a key ally of ours”, he added.
GCHQ has described the claim as “utterly ridiculous”.
Mr Trump’s recent joke about how Mr Obama had wiretapped both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and him “complicates things” with an ally, Admiral Rogers added.
However, Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, said it was still possible that other surveillance activities had been used against Mr Trump and his associates.
In January, US intelligence agencies said Kremlin-backed hackers had broken into the email accounts of senior Democrats and released embarrassing messages in order to help Mr Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.
“That was a fairly easy judgement for the community,” Mr Comey said. “Putin hated Secretary Clinton so much that the flipside of that coin was he had a clear preference for the person running against the person he hated so much.”
However, late last summer the Russians concluded that Mr Trump had no chance of winning, based on polls at the time, and so focused on undermining Mrs Clinton, Mr Comey said.
Both intelligence chiefs said that Russia had made its intervention in last year’s election campaign unusually obvious, perhaps to further its aim of undermining US democracy.
Mr Comey said Russia had succeeded in this goal, by sowing chaos, division and discord.
Mr Trump has since faced allegations that his campaign team had links to Russian officials.
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has said he saw no evidence of any collusion, up until the time he left his post in January.
Two senior officials in the Trump administration have been caught up in the allegations – former national security adviser Michael Flynn, and Attorney-General Jeff Sessions.
Mr Flynn was fired last month after he misled the White House about his conversations with the Russian ambassador before he was appointed national security adviser.
He allegedly discussed US sanctions with ambassador Sergei Kislyak. It is illegal for private citizens to conduct US diplomacy.
Meanwhile, Mr Sessions was accused by Democrats of lying under oath during his confirmation hearing in January.
He said he had “no communications with the Russians”, but it later emerged that he had met Mr Kislyak during the campaign.
Mr Sessions denied any wrongdoing, but removed himself from an FBI inquiry into Russia’s alleged interference in the election.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TIME.COM)
(POT IS A STEP DOWN DRUG, NOT A STEP UP DRUG. LEGAL POT IS A THREAT TO THE ALCOHOL AND PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRIES AS WELL AS TO THE PROFITS OF DRUG CARTELS, POLICE DEPARTMENTS AND TO THE STATE AND FEDERAL PRISON FOR PROFIT SYSTEMS. THIS IS THE MAIN REASONS THAT POT IS STILL ILLEGAL, THAT AND PEOPLE LIKE THE AG JEFF SESSIONS WHO ARE TOTALLY IGNORANT OF KNOWLEDGE AND OR TRUTH OR SIMPLY DO NOT CARE WHAT THE TRUTH IS.) (THIS COMMENTARY IS BY TRS)
As legalization of marijuana grows throughout the United States, so does its popularity with beer drinkers.
About one in four Americans are now spending their money on marijuana instead of beer, new research from Cannabiz Consumer Group found. Twenty-seven percent of beer consumers are legally purchasing cannabis instead of beer, or suggested they would purchase it instead if it were legalized in their state. The research group surveyed 40,000 Americans last year.
About 24.6 million Americans legally purchased pot in the U.S. last year and that number is expected to grow, according to the study. Numerous states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, and a smaller number of states have legalized it for recreational use. The Department of Justice under the Obama Administration relaxed federal enforcement of marijuana laws in states where it is legal, but the Trump Administration may reverse that trend.
Still, the group predicts the cannabis industry will grow to $50 billion. The U.S. beer market sells over $100 billion in beer each year, according to the National Beer Wholesalers Association.
If marijuana were legalized nationally, the beer industry would lose more than $2 billion in retail sales, the Cannabis Consumer Group says. The group anticipates the cannabis industry will take just over 7% of the beer industry’s market.
Other studies have supported this concept. As Money reported in 2016, the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, Oregon and Washington state contributed to beer sales falling in those states, according to research firm Cowen & Company.
Most recently, Massachusetts, Maine, California and Nevada passed measures to legalize the recreational use of marijuana late last year. More than half of U.S. states permit the medical use of marijuana.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration moved on Friday to sweep away most of the remaining vestiges of Obama administration prosecutors at the Justice Department, ordering 46 holdover United States attorneys to tender their resignations immediately — including Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan.
The firings were a surprise — especially for Mr. Bharara, who has a reputation for prosecuting public corruption cases and for investigating insider trading. In November, Mr. Bharara met with then President-elect Donald J. Trump at Trump Tower in Manhattan and told reporters afterward that both Mr. Trump and Jeff Sessions, who is now the attorney general, had asked him about staying on, which the prosecutor said he expected to do.
But on Friday, Mr. Bharara was among federal prosecutors who received a call from Dana Boente, the acting deputy attorney general, instructing him to resign, according to a person familiar with the matter. As of Friday evening, though some of the prosecutors had publicly announced their resignations, Mr. Bharara had not. A spokesman for Mr. Bharara declined to comment.
Sarah Isgur Flores, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said in an email that all remaining holdover United States attorneys had been asked to resign, leaving their deputy United States attorneys, who are career officials, in place in an acting capacity.
The abrupt order came after two weeks of increasing calls from Mr. Trump’s allies outside the government to oust appointees from President Barack Obama’s administration. Mr. Trump has been angered by a series of reports based on leaked information from a sprawling bureaucracy, as well as from his own West Wing.
Several officials said the firings had been planned before Friday.
But the calls from the acting deputy attorney general arose a day after Sean Hannity, the Fox News commentator who is a strong supporter of President Trump, said on his evening show that Mr. Trump needed to “purge” Obama holdovers from the federal government. Mr. Hannity portrayed them as “saboteurs” from the “deep state” who were leaking secrets to hurt Mr. Trump. It also came the same week that government watchdogs wrote to Mr. Bharara and urged him to investigate whether Mr. Trump had violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution, which bars federal officials from taking payments from foreign governments.
In Mr. Hannity’s monologue, he highlighted the fact that the Clinton administration had told all 93 United States attorneys to resign soon after he took office in 1993, and that “nobody blinked an eye,” but he said it became a scandal when the George W. Bush administration fired several top prosecutors midway through his second term.
Several Democratic members of Congress said they only heard that the United States attorneys from their states were being immediately let go shortly before the Friday afternoon statement from the Justice Department. One senator, speaking on the condition of anonymity to protect the identity of the United States attorney in that state, said that an Obama-appointed prosecutor had been instructed to vacate the office by the end of the day.
Although it was not clear whether all were given the same instructions, that United States attorney was not the only one told to clear out by the close of business. The abrupt nature of the dismissals distinguished Mr. Trump’s mass firing from Mr. Clinton’s, because the prosecutors in 1993 were not summarily told to clear out their offices.
Michael D. McKay, who was the United States attorney in Seattle under the George Bush administration, recalled that even though he had already made plans to leave, he nevertheless stayed on for about three weeks beyond a request by then-Attorney General Janet Reno for all of the holdover prosecutors to resign. He also recalled at least one colleague who was in the midst of a major investigation and was kept on to finish it.
“I’m confident it wasn’t on the same day,” he said, adding: “While there was a wholesale ‘Good to see you, thanks for your service, and now please leave,’ people were kept on on a case-by-case basis depending on the situation.”
Two United States attorneys survived the firings: Mr. Boente, the top prosecutor for the Eastern District of Virginia, who is serving as acting deputy attorney general, and Rod Rosenstein, the top prosecutor in Baltimore, whom Mr. Trump has nominated to be deputy attorney general.
“The president called Dana Boente and Rod Rosenstein tonight to inform them that he has declined to accept their resignation, and they will remain in their current positions,” said Peter Carr, a Justice Department spokesman.
It remains possible that Mr. Trump and Mr. Sessions could put others on that list later.
It is not unusual for a new president to replace United States attorneys appointed by a predecessor, especially when there has been a change in which party controls the White House.
Still, other presidents have done it gradually in order to minimize disruption, giving those asked to resign more time to make the transition while keeping some inherited prosecutors in place, as it had appeared Mr. Trump would do with Mr. Bharara. Mr. Obama, for example, kept Mr. Rosenstein, who had been appointed by George W. Bush.
The abrupt mass firing appeared to be a change in plans for the administration, according to a statement by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“In January, I met with Vice President Pence and White House Counsel Donald McGahn and asked specifically whether all U.S. attorneys would be fired at once,” she said. “Mr. McGahn told me that the transition would be done in an orderly fashion to preserve continuity. Clearly this is not the case. I’m very concerned about the effect of this sudden and unexpected decision on federal law enforcement.”
Still, the cases the various federal prosecutors were overseeing will continue, with their career deputies becoming acting United States attorneys in their place for the time being.
Mr. Bharara has been among the highest-profile United States attorneys, with a purview that includes Wall Street and public corruption prosecutions, including of both Democratic and Republican officials and other influential figures.
His office, for example, has prosecuted top police officials in New York and the powerful leader of the city correction officers’ union; they have pleaded not guilty. It is preparing to try a major public corruption case involving former aides and associates of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and is looking into allegations of pay-for-play around Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York.
But Mr. Bharara is also closely associated with the Senate minority leader, Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York. Mr. Bharara was formerly a counsel to Mr. Schumer, who pushed Mr. Obama to nominate Mr. Bharara to be the top federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York.
At the time of the November meeting at Trump Tower, Mr. Schumer was saying publicly that Democrats should try to find common ground and work with the president-elect. But relations between Mr. Trump and Mr. Schumer have since soured.
For his part, Mr. Schumer has called for an independent investigation into contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and demanded that Mr. Sessions resign for having testified that he had no contacts with Russians even though he had met with the Russian ambassador.
The White House officials ascribed the reversal over Mr. Bharara as emblematic of a chaotic transition process. One official said it was tied to Mr. Trump’s belief in November that he and Mr. Schumer would be able to work together.
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