It’s standard procedure — new presidential administrations request that federal prosecutors resign. Whether that’s smart policy or petty politics is not the point — it’s the way things are done.
The Trump administration cleaned house, but one prosecutor said he wouldn’t resign. Today, he says he’s been fired. But there’s controversy, with the Washington Post reporting that
After Trump won the presidency, he met in late November with Bharara. The meeting came about, according to people familiar with the matter, after Mr. Trump called Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and congratulated him on becoming the leader of the Senate Democrats. In that conversation, Trump brought up Bharara, and said he was thinking of keeping him in his job, these people said. Schumer praised Bharara and Trump then arranged a meeting with Bharara at Trump Tower.
During the conversation, Trump told Bharara to call Sessions, his nominee for attorney general, who also asked Bharara to stay.
When Bharara was leaving, according to one person familiar with the meeting, he asked the president-elect what he should tell the reporters in the lobby. Trump told Bharara to tell them he was staying on, this person said.
Presumably, opinions then are not opinions now. Get over it, Mr. Bharara.
I think changing federal prosecutors is tacky, but it’s the way the game is played. I’d hate to be asked to resign; I’d hate more to be fired. But that’s the deal.
There’s no controversy here.