New York attorney fired by Trump speaks out after Comey dismissal: 'Is there anyone left willing to say no?'

The axed New York prosecutor said James Comey was a friend and colleague

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The Independent US

A high profile prosecutor fired by Donald Trump, has defended his former colleague James Comey and called on more public officials to stand up to the power of the White House.

Preet Bharara, who was one of 46 United States attorneys appointed by President Barack Obama ordered to resign by Mr Trump, said the firing of Mr Comey had impacted morale at the agency.

“Jim Comey was once my boss and remains my friend. I know that many people are mad at him. He has at different times become a cause for people’s frustration and anger on both sides of the aisle,” he said. 

“Some of those people may have a point. But...I am proud to know a man who had the courage to say no to a president.”

He added: “And in the tumult of this time, the question whose answer we should perhaps fear the most is the one evoked by that showdown: are there still public servants who are prepared to say no to the president?”

Donald Trump says James Comey told him multiple times he was not under investigation

Mr Bharara, who was fired at the United States attorney in Manhattan in March after he refused the order to stand down, recalled in an piece for the Washington Post, how Mr Comey and then FBI Director Robert Mueller intervened in 2004 when the White House tried to overrule their objection to a secret terrorist surveillance programme.

He said that when the administration of George W Bush sought to push ahead, Mr Comey threatened to resign. Mr Comey and Mr Mueller won the day.

“For me, the past week has been deja vu all over again. To restore faith in the rule of law, three obvious things must happen: First, we need a truly bipartisan investigation in Congress,” he said.

 

“That means no partisan nonsense - just a commitment to finding the facts, whatever they may be, proving (or disproving) Russian interference in our election and anything related.”

Mr Bharara also said the new FBI director must be apolitical and sensitive to the law-enforcement mission. Finally, he said, there should be a special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation. 

“Given the manner of Comey’s firing and the pretextual reasons proffered for it, there is no other way,” he said.

“History will judge this moment. It’s not too late to get it right, and justice demands it.”

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