US attorney Preet Bharara, whose office arrested Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade and subjected her to strip search before filing prosecution charges ignoring her diplomatic immunity in December 2013, has been shown the exit door unceremoniously by the Trump administration. He is one among the 46 attorneys appointed by Obama administration and fired.
Defiant as usual, Preet Bharara has created another controversy before he was asked to resign by the Trump administration. Refusing to resign, he said he did not take a call from the White House as protocol prohibits it. He went to town in November after meeting then elect Donald Trump who, he told the media, had asked him to continue.
But his fate was otherwise as he was chosen among the 46 to be fired and his close association with Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York has also apparently came in the way. Bharara was the US attorney in Manhattan since 2009. He came under limelight for probing fund-raising by Bill de Blasio, the mayor of New York, the then governor of New York, Andrew M. Cuomo, who are both Democrats.
In a Twitter account he opened a week ago, Bharara said: “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.”Now his Twitter account depicts him as “@PreetBharara
Personal account of Preet Bharara. Patriotic American & proud immigrant. Movie buff. @Springsteen fan. Former U.S. Attorney | Southern District of NY. New York, NY. Joined February 2017.”
India born Bharara arrested Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade in December 2013, triggering a major row between India and US that led to diplomatic showdown in New Delhi. She was released later from the case when her credentials as UN diplomat were provided.
However, Bharare pressed the case against Khobragade and Bharara’s office filed a new indictment but by then she had left the US. Bharara later speaking at Harvard Law School blamed the U.S. Department of State which had begun the probe and asked him to prosecute her.
Devyani Khobragade, an IFS 1999 batch officer, now a director in the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi, authored a book “The White Sari” in December 2016.