Fired U.S. attorney to Trump: 'Keep up the tweeting'

Preet Bharara and Trump

By Gabby Kaufman
Ousted U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara ribbed President Trump on Twitter Tuesday, advising the president to keep tweeting as Trump was firing off angry missives about the charges against three of his former campaign officials: Paul Manafort, Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos.

“Keep up the tweeting. Seriously, keep it up,” Bharara wrote.

He was responding to two tweets in which the president quoted “Paul Manaforts [sic] lawyer” dismissing the notion that the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin. Trump also suggested, once again, that the target of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation should be Democrats.

Bharara was the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, whose purview included Trump’s hometown of New York City. Bharara was fired by the Justice Department in March after refusing to resign.

Though it’s common for presidents to replace U.S. attorneys appointed by a predecessor of the opposite party, Bharara said Trump had agreed to keep him on after he visited the then president-elect at Trump Tower. Their relationship apparently changed.

Bharara’s position on Trump’s tweeting also has apparently changed. When Yahoo News asked him in June whether he would advise Trump to curb his freewheeling use of Twitter, Bharara passed on the opportunity.

“I’m going to let Donald Trump keep his own wise counsel,” Bharara said.

Trump appears to be doing so. Shortly after sending the Manafort tweets Tuesday morning, Trump took to Twitter again to complain about the lack of investigation of Democrats. “What he [sic] know about Crooked Dems is…… shattering,” the commander in chief wrote.

On Monday, Trump similarly took to Twitter in an attempt to downplay the announcement that Manafort and Gates had been indicted, and that George Papadopoulos had already pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

“Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren’t Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????” Trump wrote.

Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, and Gates, Manafort’s deputy and business partner, were charged with 12 counts, including conspiracy, money laundering and tax evasion. Papadopoulos, a campaign foreign policy aide, admitted to making false statements about his outreach to Russians during the campaign.

According to the Washington Post, the president spent most of Monday fuming about the cable news coverage of the indictments.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Monday that “there is no intention or plan to make any changes in regards to the special counsel.” But if Trump fired Mueller, Bharara said, Congress should impeach the president.
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