I am proud to have served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. Preet Bharara upholds the highest traditions of the Office to do justice.
“Today, I was fired from my position as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Serving my country as U.S. Attorney here for the past seven years will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life, no matter what else I do or how long I live. One hallmark of justice is absolute independence, and that was my touchstone every day that I served. I want to thank the amazing people of the Southern District of New York, the greatest public servants in the world, for everything they do each day in pursuit of justice. They will continue to do the great work of the Office under the leadership of Joon H. Kim, the current Deputy U.S. Attorney, who will serve as Acting U.S. Attorney.”
Mr.. Bharara continues a tradition of speaking truth to power in the SDNY. John Martin, who hired me, resigned as a judge of the federal District Court for the SDNY in 2003 because “of the distress I feel at being part of a sentencing system that is unnecessarily cruel and rigid. . . . I no longer want to be part of our unjust criminal justice system.”
Robert Morgenthau initially refused to resign after Richard Nixon was elected. His 1969 resignation statement was blunt: “I hope that my fight for independence will make it easier for my successor to withstand the harsh, narrow partisan views on law enforcement currently in favor at the Department of Justice in Washington.” Nixon later resigned rather than face impeachment, and his attorney general John Mitchell served prison time.
Other former AUSAs have disgraced the traditions of the Southern District – Jim Comey clouding the November 2016 election with public statements about a candidate, and Rudy Giuliani before and after that election, spring to mind.
If there is a “credible whiff that justice has been politicized,” Mr. Bharara told Thе New York Times in 2014, “there’s nothing worse than that.”
President George Washington appointed the first U.S. Attorney for the SDNY in 1789. The Office continues to do justice and will after the present administration is over.
225th Anniversary with more than 700 current and former AUSAs for the SDNY at the Plaza Hotel 2014. “You leave with a tremendous sense of an obligation to do the right thing,” said a former Assistant.
“Generations of Lawyers Gather for a Reunion Like No Other” New York Times . . .
AUSA Robert García trial before Judge Edward Weinfeld SDNY 1985 Sentry Armored Courier theft