- The Washington Times - Friday, April 7, 2017


Former U.S. attorney of Manhattan Preet Bharara, one of Barack Obama’s appointees who was asked last month by President Donald Trump’s administration to exit, stage left, spoke out this week for the first time since his firing — and surprise, surprise, it was words of criticism about the new White House.

Bharara’s disgruntled. But his public slam at Trump raises a red flag about the Barack Obama holdovers currently serving the executive. How do they really think, and why are they still there?

But first Bharara, during a speech at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art: “I would respectfully submit you don’t drain a swamp with a slogan. You don’t drain it by replacing one set of partisans with another. You don’t replace muck with muck. To drain a swamp you need an Army Corps of Engineers, experts schooled in service and serious purpose, not do-nothing, say-anything neophyte opportunists who know a lot about how to bully and bluster but not so much about truth, justice and fairness.”

Well, well. Methinks Bharara sounds a bit disgruntled.

This is what confounds about the left, though. They are truly shocked when Republicans want to appoint — gasp — fellow Republicans to offices of influence in politics and the judiciary.

Listen up Bharara: You were let go along with 45 other U.S. attorneys — a standard practice firing when new administrations take over. Get over it. You tried to make a political statement out of it — and lost.

“I was asked to resign,” he said. “I refused. I insisted on being fired and so I was. I don’t understand why that was such a bid deal. Especially to this White House. I had thought that was what Donald Trump was good at.”

Asked why he was fired, Bharara only had this to say: “Beats the hell out of me.”

Once again, standard practice.

But Bharara’s ongoing pretend puzzlement over his firing highlights a deeper problem in federal government right now, and that’s the fact that the Trump administration still includes so many holdovers from Obama’s administration — holdovers with the same anti-Trump ideologies as Bharara.

Thomas Shannon Jr., a career diplomat who was the Obama’s State Department Number 3 man, just met with leaders of Japan, Britain and Canada, along with Trump.

Brett McGurk, who served under Obama as a special envoy on overseas military matters, just traveled with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Turkey to talk counter-ISIS strategy.

Shannon also served as a Tillerson replacement in Trump’s meetings with the prime ministers of Britain, Japan and Canada.

“They’re relying on these people for sheer expertise,” said Elliott Abrams, a Republican foreign police expert, in The New York Times.

That may be. And there are more, many more. But how pro-Trump — and more importantly, how pro-Trump policy — can these people really be?

Bharara feels snubbed, and he’s letting it show. The deeper danger, however, is the unknown of Obama holdovers in Trump’s administration who feel similarly — but don’t let it show.

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