Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's brief announcement that he has agreed to stay on in the Donald Trump administration signals in at least one way that the president-elect may be serious about keeping his campaign promise to crack down on corruption.
As U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Bharara, who was born in India and whose parents brought him to the United States as a child, heads one of the highest-profile federal prosecutors' offices in the country. He noted that he had a "good meeting" with the president-elect.
"I said absolutely", Bharara told reporters. "I agreed to stay on".
Bharara has overseen a number of high-profile prosecutions, including winning convictions past year of the leaders of both houses of the NY legislature: former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is a Democrat; former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos is a Republican. Jeff Sessions, who also asked him to continue his tenure.
"I serve at the pleasure of the president, like every US attorney does, and if and when our president decides to replace me, I'll ride off into the sunset".
His office also successfully prosecuted dozens of cases involving insider trading on Wall Street.
Bharara has critical cases ongoing in his fight of NY corruption: Indictments were issued last week to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's former top aide, Joseph Percoco; former SUNY Polytechnic Institute president Alain Kaloyeros and five upstate developers.
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Bharara won corruption cases against former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos in 2015.
Bharara said he has already spoken to U.S. Sen.
Mr. Bharara arrived in the lobby of Trump Tower at 12:43 p.m. EST.
The move to keep Bharara in place apparently began last week, when Trump sought the opinion of New York Democratic Sen.
Under Bharara, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of NY has pursued an aggressive push against corruption in state and city politics. "He's one of the best USA attorneys NY has ever seen".
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