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Preet Bharara was fired after refusing to step down as US Attorney

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UPDATE 3:50pm |  Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara was fired Saturday, despite a Trump administration promise to keep the corruption-busting prosecutor on board.

“I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired,” Bharara tweeted at 2:29 p.m.

He and 45 other US Attorneys held over from the Obama admin on Friday were asked to resign by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.”


UPDATE 2:05pm  |  An outspoken Manhattan federal prosecutor known for crusading against public corruption is taking President Donald Trump up on his word that he can remain in his post.

A person with knowledge of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's actions said Saturday he is not complying with Attorney General Jeff Sessions' request to resign along with other prosecutors appointed by former President Barack Obama.

The person said Bharara is remaining in his post after receiving assurances last year from Trump and Sessions that they wanted him to stay on.

The person wasn't authorized to comment publicly on the matter and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Spokespeople for Bharara's office declined comment after word Friday that Bharara's name was included on Sessions' list.

The Justice Department declined comment Saturday.

The prominent U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York who was one of the 46 public servants asked to resign under Attorney General Jeff Sessions has yet to hand in his resignation letter--signaling a possible pushback for Sessions to fire him directly, a federal law enforcement official told the Daily Beast.

Preet Bharara, who worked on a case that let to the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in August 2007, was reportedly assured by Sessions earlier this week that he'd remain atop the Southern District, the official added.

Since receiving the request for resignation on Friday afternoon, Bharara has yet to speak to the press or his full office. He reportedly told section chiefs that he has yet to submit the letter and may instead challenge Sessions to fire him, the law enforcement official said.

Following the so-called Justice Department purge, anger erupted over the Trump administration's handling of the matter. Though it is typical for prior administration officials to resign under a change of leadership, the sweeps aren't usually conducted until replacements are ready. Trump has yet to formally nominate anyone to a U.S. attorney post.


The purge also came as a surprise to some, who claimed they had been given little warning. "There was not any particular clarity from the Justice Department as to what the future held for the US attorneys" until now, one source told CNN.

--The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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