Former US Attorney Preet Bharara told George Stephanopoulos that there’s “absolutely” enough evidence to justify investigating President Donald Trump on charges that he committed obstruction of justice, in the latest attempt by a disgruntled ex-employee to join the "Comey parade" and speculate about Trump's ulterior motives when Bharara was terminated earlier in the year.
“I think there’s absolutely evidence to begin a case [of obstruction],” Bharara told Stephanopoulos during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
"I think it’s very important for all sorts of arm chair speculators in the law to be clear that no one knows right now whether there is a provable case of obstruction. It’s also true I think based on what I see as a third party that there’s no basis to say there’s no obstruction.”
Since his firing, Bharara has tried to position himself as a prominent figure in the anti-Trump “resistance.” In a dramatic op-ed penned back in March, Bharara questioned the judgment of lawmakers and appointees who cooperate with Trump.
— ABC News (@ABC) June 11, 2017
As ProPublica reported, Bharara prosecuted two of the infamous “three men in a room” who ran New York state: Sheldon Silver, the Democratic speaker of the assembly and Dean Skelos, the Republican Senate majority leader. But Bharara was much less aggressive when it came to confronting Wall Street, choosing to go after easy targets – like pursuing insider trading cases against hedge funds – while dropping a probe into Lehman Brothers that he inherited when he was appointed by Obama in 2009.
As the Wall Street Journal noted, Bharara told Stephanopoulos that he was fired less than a day after declining to return the third in a series of phone calls from the president, two of which were made before the inauguration.
“The call came in, I got a message, we deliberated over it, thought it was inappropriate to return the call and 22 hours later I was asked to resign along with, you know, 45 other people.”
Bharara said he was hesitant to return Trump's calls because he believed it would be improper for him to have direct contact with the president, whose business Bharara was tasked with overseeing as the US attorney in the district where the Trump Organization is based. “There has to be some kind of arm’s length relationship given the jurisdiction various people have.”
However, Bharara said he couldn’t draw a direct connection between the calls and his dismissal.
“To this day, I have no idea why I was fired,” he said.
Bharara was asked by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign in March, along with 45 other US attorneys who were Obama appointees. When he refused to resign, he was fired. While Bharara chose to make a stink about his firing on twitter, “it is common for U.S. attorneys to leave with a change in administration,” as WSJ noted.