Dem to DOJ: Probe Yates, Bharara firings

Dem to DOJ: Probe Yates, Bharara firings
© Greg Nash

Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) on Tuesday demanded that the Justice Department investigate two major firings under President TrumpDonald John TrumpPentagon update to missile defense doctrine will explore space-base technologies, lasers to counter threats Giuliani: 'I never said there was no collusion' between the Trump campaign and Russia Former congressmen, RNC members appointed to Trump administration roles MORE’s watch.

“I write in regards to the firings of former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara by President Donald Trump’s administration,” he wrote in a letter to Michael Horowitz, the department’s inspector general.

Trump fired Yates in January for refusing to defend in court his temporary travel ban on visitors from six Muslim-majority nations.

Bharara, once the nation’s most high-profile federal prosecutor, was fired last month after refusing to resign.

“I believe that the facts available warrant further consideration by your office, as both firings occurred concurrently with a Justice Department investigation that was unfavorable to the Trump administration or within days of the White House learning that such an investigation was happening,” Cicilline wrote.

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“To ensure the fair administration of the law, [it] is imperative that the Justice Department operate free of political influence or interference from other election officials.”

Trump reportedly included Bharara among 46 federal prosecutors he wanted to resign in March.

Bharara’s firing stoked controversy as Trump had earlier requested that he stay in his role.

The former U.S. attorney said last week that he is unaware if his firing is related to any specific case being investigated.

Bharara will next join New York University Law School, where he will serve as a distinguished scholar in residence.

Reports emerged Thursday that Yates will testify in May during a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing over Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The House Intelligence Committee earlier this month also asked Yates to testify publicly in the panel’s probe of Russian interference last year.