Donald Trump fired US Attorney Preet Baharara this weekend. Baharara was initially asked to resign his post but refused. His refusal was greeted with a termination letter from US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York had served at his post since May of 2009, when he was appointed to the position by then-President Barrack Obama.

During his tenure, Baharara prosecuted a number of high level cases, most notably overseeing the Black Friday case that rocked the online poker world. The tenacious prosecutor was known for his willingness to go after powerful people and that, in the end, may have been his undoing.

Mass firings of political appointees, including US attorneys, by incoming Presidential administrations is a time-honored Washington DC tradition. What makes Baharara’s firing unusual is that he claimed back in November that Trump had personally assured him that he would be able to stay at his post.

The question hanging over this whole story is, “why now?” What was it that happened this weekend that led Trump to go back on his word to Baharara?

One possible answer is that over the weekend, Fox News host Sean Hannity suggested that Trump-era appointees be “purged” from their positions. Another suggestion is that Baharara was a little too interested in pursuing investigations into Fox News and allegations of contact between Trump campaign officials and Russian intelligence operatives.

So what’s Baharara’s next move? He hasn’t said yet, but the previous US Attorney for Southern District of New York, Rudi Giuliani, has remained an influential figure in conservative politics. It’s possible that Bahrara could take a similar path.

 


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