New York – U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has agreed to remain a federal prosecutor at President-elect Donald Trump’s request.
Bharara told reporters Wednesday after meeting with Trump “to discuss whether or not I’d be prepared to stay on as the U.S. attorney to do the work as we have done it, independently without fear or favor, for the last seven years.”
He said he had also met with Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for attorney general, who also asked him to stay.
Bharara was appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama.
He previously was chief counsel to New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the incoming Senate Democratic leader.
Bharara also played a leading role in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation into the firings of federal prosecutors under former President George W. Bush.
Bharara has won praise among even Republicans in New York for pursuing corruption investigations involving state and city politics, as well as financial crime.
Those political investigations led last year to the convictions of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, a Republican, in separate corruption trials.
Bharara brought dozens of successful cases against insider traders and was on the cover of Time magazine in 2012 with the headline “This man is busting Wall St.”
Asked at a Nov. 17 news conference whether he would be willing to serve in the incoming Trump administration, Bharara said: “I love my job, I enjoy doing my job, I think we’re still doing great work here in the office.
“I serve at the pleasure of the president, like every U.S. attorney does, and if and when our president decides to replace me, I’ll ride off into the sunset.”