Warren Vows Obstruction of Trump U.S. Attorneys
Progressive senator suggests president will appoint 'cronies' as federal prosecutors in Twitter tirade
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) promised to use President Donald Trump’s firing of a U.S. attorney in New York Saturday as a launching pad for a “massive fight” with a renewed series of Democrat-led political obstructions during a Twitter tirade Sunday.
The progressive Massachusetts senator was reacting to the firing of federal prosecutor Preet Bharara Saturday after Bharara refused to submit his resignation. The call for Bharara’s resignation came Friday when Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked 46 of the remaining U.S. attorneys appointed by former President Obama to submit their resignations. Every new presidential administration appoints new candidates to fill at least some of the 93 U.S. attorney districts nationwide.
“Newsflash, @realDonaldTrump: The Senate confirms US Attorneys. And you’re not replacing real prosecutors with cronies w/out a massive fight.”
But Warren, as well as several other key Democratic leaders, pretended the move from Sessions was somehow uncommon.
“You can’t fire the rule of law, @realDonaldTrump. You can’t shut down ongoing investigations by career prosecutors,” Warren tweeted Sunday. “Newsflash, @realDonaldTrump: The Senate confirms US Attorneys. And you’re not replacing real prosecutors with cronies w/out a massive fight.”
While it is true that the Senate confirms any U.S. attorney appointees that a president names, neither the act of firing nor the appointment of replacements is something unusual in the transfer of presidential power.
"@realDonaldTrump talked a big game about getting corruption out of gov. But he wants a bunch of tame prosecutors who won't investigate him," Warren tweeted. "Weeks ago, @realDonaldTrump promised to keep Preet Bharara as the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan. Yesterday, Preet was fired. Why?"
Bharara was fired because he refused to submit his resignation. He said so himself.
"I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life," Bharara tweeted Saturday.
But Warren was not satisfied. Suggesting that Bharara was asked to resign so abruptly because he had the authority to investigate any of Trump's business dealings in New York — the location of Trump Tower — Warren suggested that more sinister motives were at work.
"Preet Bharara had authority over Trump Tower. @realDonaldTrump called him directly, breaching protocol. 24 hrs later he was asked to resign," Warren said. "GOP & Dems respect Preet Bharara as a fearless prosecutor who stands up to both parties & Wall Street. I guess that's why Trump fired him.
Warren appeared to be referring to a report from The Washington Post last week saying that watchdog groups had approached Bharara and asked him to investigate Trump's foreign business deals and any breaches of the Emoluments Clause.
In addition, Warren tried to tie the Trump administration's request for resignations and subsequent firing of Bharara to Trump's dismissal of then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates in late January after she who publicly criticized and refused to defend Trump's first travel ban executive order — another administrative action that was completely within his power.
"@realDonaldTrump fired acting AG Sally Yates — who refused to defend his #MuslimBan & had warned the WH about Flynn's contact with Russia," Warren tweeted. "@realDonaldTrump wants people like AG Sessions — a loyalist who lied to the Senate about meeting with the Russians — in @TheJusticeDept."
Warren's vow to put up a "massive fight" in the Senate against Trump's U.S. attorney appointees that fail to meet her partisan criteria would be the next development in the Democratic Party's almost uniform effort to resist the new president's administration.