Ex-U.S. Attorney Bharara tells of
'unusual' calls he received from Trump
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[June 12, 2017]
By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. Attorney
Preet Bharara revealed on Sunday that he received a handful of "unusual"
phone calls from Donald Trump after the November election that made him
feel uncomfortable, and said he was fired after declining to take the
Speaking on ABC News' "This Week" in his first televised interview since
Trump fired him in March as the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan,
Bharara said he believed Trump's calls to him violated the usual
boundaries between the executive branch and independent criminal
"It's a very weird and peculiar thing for a one-on-one conversation
without the attorney general, without warning between the president and
me or any United States attorney who has been asked to investigate
various things and is in a position hypothetically to investigate
business interests and associates of the president," Bharara said.
He added that during President Barack Obama's tenure, Obama never called
Bharara's comments came just a few days after former Federal Bureau of
Investigation Director James Comey testified at a congressional panel
that Trump had asked him to drop an investigation into former Trump aide
Michael Flynn and his alleged ties to Russia.
Comey also said he believed he was subsequently fired in an effort to
undermine the investigation into possible collusion between Trump's
campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Trump has denied allegations of collusion between his campaign and
Russia and said he never directed Comey to drop the Flynn probe.
A White House spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment.
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Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara attends a news conference at
his office in New York October 29, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan
Bharara said on Sunday that Trump called him twice after the
November election "ostensibly just to shoot the breeze."
"It was a little bit uncomfortable, but he was not the president. He
was only the president-elect," Bharara said.
The third call, however, came two days after Trump's inauguration.
That time, he said, he refused to call back.
"The call came in. I got a message. We deliberated over it, thought
it was inappropriate to return the call. And 22 hours later I was
asked to resign along with 45 other people," he said.
Bharara stopped short of saying whether he thought Trump had
obstructed justice in his conversations and subsequent firing of
However, he said he thought there was "absolutely evidence to begin
a case" into the matter.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Richard Chang)
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