Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Preet Bharara Coup For Trump

Andrew mentioned one point in his post yesterday about some of Trump's "very encouraging" appointments that I did not have time to comment on, so I will now. This particular appointment is very near and dear to my political heart and very interesting for the politicians in New York.

Andrew wrote:
"He kept Preet Bharara as the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York. This is where Wall Street gets watched and Bharara has been a take-no-prisoners guy whom Wall Street hates. This is a great sign."

Yes, that soon-to-be-President Trump specifically asked and Preet Bharara agreed to stay on at his present roll as US Attorney in the Southern District of New York is a wonderful coup. You may not know how important this is, but it really is. Yes, Bharara has taken on Wall Street despite what those who say the nothing has been done, but more importantly he has taken on the entrenched, ethically-challenged political machine in New York and that machine doesn't like it. I have written extensively about the wonderful work Mr. Bharara has done for the citizens of New York.LINK from 2015

As I have written, New York has a real problem with ethics amongst our political class. I have tried to keep an on-going list of elected official who are in jail, under indictment, or getting out of jail, but the list is just gotten too cumbersome - 28 and counting since 2010. If you read the link from above it will explain it all more thoroughly. But in a nut shell, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised during his first campaign in 2010 that he would make it his mission to clean up the corruption and ethics issues within our fair state. He was elected based on that promise and as one of his first acts, he formed "The Moreland Commission", a independent commission to investigate and root out ethics violations in New York - local and state. Well, as it so happened, the investigation came uncomfortably close to the Governor himself, so he abruptly decommissioned the Commission. Enter US Attorney Preet Bharara who smelled a rat and requested all of the documents and information that had been gathered by the Commission and opened up his own investigation.

This request led to the eventually arrest and conviction of our long-time Assembly Speaker and the most powerful State Democrat Sheldon Silver and Republican State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (both convictions are still out on appeal). And only last month, Bharara entered the indictment of some of Cuomo's closest allies in a pay-to-play scheme in Buffalo that may very well take down Andrew Cuomo. And Bharara is currently on the trail of Mayor Bill de Blasio - LINK - for his own pay-to-play schemes that may be the biggest catch of all.

Okay that is great. But what actually makes Trump's trump more interesting is that, with the encouragement of the Democratic Party in New York, our current President Obama decided, in a last desperate act to rid the poor unfortunate Democratic political class in New York of this giant thorn, he would to elevate Mr. Bharara to federal judgeship in the Eastern District of New York. It was just a very small article a few months ago, but even Bharara saw through this ruse. He said that he was interested and would love the appointment as a Federal Judge, but indicated that his assistant US Attorney was still going to keep moving forward with their current investigations into ethics violations in New York. So the fact that Bharara has agreed to stay on as the US Attorney of the Southern District is very important.

As a little history lesson, this isn't the first time that the idea of elevating a current crusader for ethics to get rid of them has happened in New York. The Republican Party did exactly the same to a former NYC Police Commissioner/Assemblyman/Governor sometime in the late 19th/early 20th Century. You may have heard of him. His name was Theodore Roosevelt.

In all of Roosevelt's political positions, he tried and succeeded in breaking up the political corruption in the state. The power brokers did not like that, but they couldn't get rid of him. So the Republicans hatched a scheme to elevate Roosevelt to a very prestigious, yet powerless role as Vice President candidate to William McKinley in his re-election bid in the 1900 election cycle. Roosevelt was great running mate who helped McKinley get re-elected in a landslide thereby ridding NY State of this giant thorn. But as fate would have it, instead of elevating Roosevelt to a powerless position and eventual obscurity that is the fate of most VPs, McKinley was assassinated six months later and well, we all know what happened on September 14, 1901 - President Theodore Roosevelt.

Let's hope that our modern-day ethics crusader US Attorney Preet Bharara has as storied a political career as the ethics crusader Teddy Roosevelt. I have very high hopes that he will.


AndrewPrice said...


Quasi-Off-Topic: A couple things... you mentioned the Michigan recount thing in the other thread. A Federal judge in Michigan is rightly ending the recount because legally she can't win so she lacks standing to demand a recount. That ends Stein's farce. Interestingly, the Wisconsin recount has increased Trump's lead. Ha ha.

Trump is appointing Lynda McMahon, the CEO of WWE, as the SBA Secretary. Another quality move that also happens to add another woman to the list. So much for the sexist crap. Interesting how all the thousands of rape accusers vanished, isn't it?

At the same time, the Democrats apparently hired almost all white staffers at the top. Whoops. But hey, they know they need to do better... and they can quite any time!

I'm seeing article after article now that says, "While Trump is an insane racist liar and his point about ___ is batshit crazy, there is a tiny, small, insignificant kernel of truth. In fact, he's right... the bastard!"

AndrewPrice said...

I love that's he's kept Bharara. This really shows a break from business as usual. He is not the kind of guy either party wants in charge.

tryanmax said...

Bev, your article is one of the reasons I believe in zeitgeist. Just this morning, I was thinking that there are parallels between Trump and TR. I thought this while listening to a report about how mean Trump tweeted! a response to the union leader who called him a liar. Quelle horreur! My reaction: "That's what happens when you shoot your mouth off against the guy with the biggest microphone in the world."

As I said yesterday, I see one of the defining features of Trump's cabinet appointments is that he gravitates toward people the establishment--especially Democrats--tried to take out politically. I find that fascinating.

Anonymous said...

I always thought he was a huge jerk myself but I could be wrong. He certainly seems intent on taking heads but I guess looking at white collar crime I'm like you arrested a billionaire based on a phone conversation he had?
But when the whole darn system is corrupt you need to make examples of people I suppose.

AndrewPrice said...

BTW, Bev, I never knew about the attempt to elevate him to a judgeship. That's interesting. Nice way to get rid of someone you don't like.

All in all, I think he's an excellent US attorney and is the kind of take-no-prisoners guy we need in that office.

Rustbelt said...

R.I.P. John Glenn, 1921 - 2016

Korean War, Mercury-Atlas 6 (Friendship 7) STS-95 (Discovery), U.S. senator

The view was, indeed, tremendous.

BevfromNYC said...

Anon - I really haven't followed his Wall Street take downs much. But I am very impressed with what he's doing with corrupt elected officials. Honestly I thought that it would take holy water and a wooden stake to get Shel Silver out of office.

BevfromNYC said...

Rustbelt - I just saw that in my news feed! I remember watching John Glenn orbit the earth for the first time on a little B&W TV my teacher brought for us to watch in class. It was magical. And then when he went on the Shuttle flight, he proved that you are never too old! He was truly an American Hero. RIP, Sen. Glenn

BevfromNYC said...

Andrew - Yeah, it was a very small 2 paragraph article in the NY Post that never got any more publicity except for a subtle statement by Bharara.

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