Preet Bharara was received with applause as he stepped out of his former office on Monday. A crowd had gathered to say goodbye to the Indian-American US attorney who was born in Punjab in 1968. His parents had migrated to the US two years later.
He returned to his office two days after he was fired. The US Attorney also said on Saturday that he had been fired, one day after the Justice Department asked him and 45 other federal prosecutors, who had served under Democratic President Barack Obama, to submit their resignations.
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.— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) March 11, 2017
Bharara was appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2009. During frequent public appearances, Bharara has decried public corruption, after successfully prosecuting over a dozen state lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans alike.
The 48-year-old, one of the most high-profile federal prosecutors in the US, was known for his crusade against corruption.
Sessions' decision to include Bharara's name on the list of 46 resignations of holdovers from the Obama administration surprised Manhattan prosecutors.
While it is customary for a new President to virtually replace all of the 93 US attorneys, it often occurs at a slower pace.
(With agency inputs.)