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Updated! Overreaching U.S. Attorney Who Subpoened Reason Commenters Refusing To Step Down

Donald Trump's Department of Justice has asked Preet Bharara and 45 others to vacate their offices. Bharara says hell no. AND HAS NOW BEEN FIRED!

Polaris/NewscomPolaris/NewscomUpdated! Scroll down for news that Preet Bharara has been fired.

From The New York Times comes this tale of governmental insubordination:

Preet Bharara, the Manhattan federal prosecutor who was told to submit his resignation along with 45 others on Friday, has no plans to do so — forcing a potential showdown with President Trump and the Department of Justice [DOJ].

Mr. Bharara, whose office is overseeing a case against a top aide to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and an investigation into people close to Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, has told several people that he did not hand in a resignation on Friday, as he was ordered to do by the acting deputy attorney general, Dana Boente.

He also does not intend to do so over the weekend, he said in conversations with associates, a move that could force the hand of the Trump administration.

I'm sure Bharara has his reasons but color me unimpressed. Bharara is a classic federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, always looking to make headlines as much as meaningful collars. He earned the enmity of Reason readers in 2015 when his office subpoenaed information about

the records of six people who left hyperbolic comments at the website about the federal judge who oversaw the controversial conviction of Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht. Shortly after the subpoena was issued, the government issued a gag order prohibiting Reason not only from discussing the matter but even acknowledging the existence of the subpoena or the gag order itself. As a wide variety of media outlets have noted, such actions on the part of the government are not only fundamentally misguided and misdirected, they have a tangible chilling effect on free expression by commenters and publications alike....

The subpoena also covered...harmless comments as: "I hope there is a special place in hell reserved for that horrible woman," and "I'd prefer a hellish place on Earth be reserved for her as well."

As Katherine Mangu-Ward noted last fall, it's true that the Trump administration asked Bharara to stay on for a while. But that was then and this is now. And there's something truly disturbing about a DOJ appointee who refuses to take a powder when asked, especially when there's no larger question about executive-power overreach.

What is it that Barack Obama used to say? "Elections have consequences." Presidents get to staff this level of service the way they want to. I don't expect Donald Trump to be a champion of free speech, but removing Bharara from office is a small step in that direction.

Updated (2:40 P.M.): It was nice knowing you, Preet Bharara!

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  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    Good news, good report.
    Nice to see this.
    Hope he (Preet) gets humiliated in the process.

    Now we see what it takes to get Nick to work on the weekends.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    This is preetty, preetty, preetty good.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Serving at the pleasure of the president sucks when the president is no longer feeling pleasured. Don't let the doorknob hit you on the asshole on your way to running for governor or AG or whatever.

  • Johnny B||

    I hope that Reason commenters will take my lead and refer to Mr. Trump as ``President Woodchipper" from now on.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Was this judge the catalyst for the Woodchipper Affair?

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    Yes

  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    Except Preet isn't/wasn't a judge. But, yes.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I forgot to file my replacement FRIDAY FUNNIES for yesterday.

    Picture, if you will, a balloon in the shape of President Chris Farley is behind the podium being confronted by a pitchfork-wielding mob labeled MAINSTREAM MEDIA. An aide labeled SPICER is applying Scotch Tape to the various holes in the balloon president in an effort to stop the air which is slowly escaping it, but he has missed the source of the final leak: the president's necktie. The press is shouting questions at the president about Trumpcare, which they have labeled HEALTHCARE FOR CLUNKERS, but the president is busy watching on his phone a video of a blonde on her knees in a room full of black men.

  • pan fried wylie||

    I don't get it. Top Notch Friday Funny material.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Now I know how Bok and Payne feel, showering readers with material so far over their heads that it's embarrassing!

  • Brandybuck||

    Only three labels? Need more or you run the risk of the reader getting confused.

  • Sulla||

    Oh sweet Jesus.....this is delicious.

  • Trigger Warning||

    About damn time.

  • Sulla||

    Now begins the critical search for a new odious shitsack who will defend the Free World from internet hyperbole.

  • Agile Cyborg||

    Pinch the federal carbuncles
    Discharge the bureaucratic rotters
    Scrape pompous pulpy cancers
    from oozing fractured flesh
    of whimpering trodden whelps
    straining reviving their valiant
    verve and hue crashed under
    governing tinder and bloat.

  • pan fried wylie||

    best read with a Scottish accent.

  • Free Society||

    I hope there is a special place in a homeless shelter reserved for this horrible man.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    He did all of his grandstanding for the deep pocket SJWs on the way out, so he shouldn't be hurting for a gig on Monday.

  • Thomas O.||

    I'd prefer a stinky place in a cardboard box be reserved for him as well.

  • Mike Litoris||

    Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out!

  • Damned||

    Loved that Preet Bharara made Drumpf fire him.

    That result was inevitable, and should be the MO for everyone who gets asked to resign.

    Resign voluntarily, or force them to fire you. Tendering a resignation in when asked may be the norm, but guess what? This administration never cared for norms.

    Nor should they be entitled to it niceties.

  • Free Society||

    I love it when people call Trump, Drumpf. It's such incisive commentary that speaks to the presence of a vast reservoir of insightful criticism that the speaker has the stoic presence of mind to withhold.

  • Damned||

    I love it when people call Drumpf, Drumpf.

    PussyGrabber is too long. So this is easier, and a macro helps.

    Plus it gives Drumpf supporters an out. "Look, he called Drumpf, Drumpf. There can never be a reason to take what he says seriously. Ever"

  • Free Society||

    Hey don't get me wrong, I get it. The Drumpf moniker is a stroke of genius. Hitting him where it hurts, right in the ole surname. I doff my cap to you, sir.

  • Buddy Bizarre||

    I mean, yeah. It's definitely insulting to be called by the surname your grandparents(?) anglicized when they came to America.

    I mean, if someone added back in a couple of vowels & called me by the Italian surname my great grandparents anglicized, I would be....unaffected. Perhaps bemused.

  • Sudden||

    But it was racism and needlessly pejorative to use the previous president's middle name.

    And if you were to call Jon Stewart or sundry other leftist media personalities by their given last names it would be anti-semitism of the highest order.

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    But it was racism and needlessly pejorative to use the previous president's middle name.

    No matter how many times B. Hussein Obama said his middle name to packed houses.

  • call your mom||

    They're so cute when they do that. I always picture them sniffing and flicking their hankies as they enunciate it. "Drumpf!"

  • XenoZooValentine||

  • ||

    "According to Snopes, it's true that "Donald Trump's ancestors changed their surname from Drumpf to Trump". Snopes is wrong, because they are morons."

    Snopes, fact checkers like Politifact and Factcheck have jumped the shark.

  • JWatts||

    Sigh, Snopes was always run by a Democrat (really a left leaning husband and wife, since divorced). But it was excellent for a long time, but over the last few years (since a little before their divorce?) is seems to have become pretty partisan.

    Any more they seem to function like Politifact, where they always seem to give the Left point of view the benefit of the doubt. After a while their credibility is shot. And credibility is all these sites have to keep them independent.

  • SFC B||

    The heyday of Snopes was when they were facting-checking hoaxes; turn-in soda can tabs to help crippled people or whether Bill Gates really would give you $50 for forwarding an email. Once they got into subjective political matters they were screwed.

  • ||

    retirement benefits weigh heavily upon their SJW conscience.

  • Robert||

    I never understood the bit about asking for a resignation instead of just firing people. When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    Chippity choppity...

  • rudehost||

    Is it too much to ask that he never finds another job and dies starving in an alley?

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    Well, I'd rather he suffered more first, but we take what we can get.

  • ThomasD||

    You mean like having a recurring appearance on The View?

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Where he will no doubt be treated like a hero.

  • Ron||

    He's a martyr of the left now and probably has a dozen job offers and if not there is always the speaking tour of how Trump fired him

  • Damned||

    Marc Mukasey is the likely replacement. He was the lawyer for Drumpf's buddy, Roger Ailes during his ouster for his pussygrabbing at FOX.

  • Rufus T. Firefly.||

    He should have been fired on day one. WTF was Trump thinking by asking him to stay on? Anyhow, he can't do shit now do let the woodchipper comments commence. Thank you, Atty. Gen. Sessions. You have finally done something good out of all these years.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    Trump didn't ask him, specifically, to stay on. He asked all of them to keep their seats warm until he named their replacement parasites.

  • SIV||

    Now get those center-cuck liberstablishment bastards who doxed the poor reason commenters.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Fuck you, Preet Bahara, you vile scumbag!

    The guy screwed up everything he touched, too. It wasn't just that he went after Reason commenters for making innocuous comments.

    They prosecuted Ulbricht without his defense team knowing that FBI agents had tried to blackmail Ulbricht. Those FBI agents were convicted. Ulbricht should get a new trial--regardless of whether he's guilty. If he's guilty, withholding pertinent information from the defense makes it even worse.

    Bahara fucked up the Bank of America case, too.

    If the people of New York City end up choosing between Bahara and de Blasio for mayor, I'll almost start feeling sorry for them.

    Anyway, that's for later. Now it's time for all us Munchkins to sing!

    Which old witch?
    The wicked witch!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHQLQ1Rc_Js

    P.S. Fuck you, Preet Bahara!

  • Trigger Warning||

    *standing O face*

  • GLEEMORE™||

    Comparison shopping: I've been over at Breitbart the last couple weeks posing (badly) as a North Korean ambassador. For whatever it's worth if you ever want to know, they're dumber but, yet, more fun.

  • Wizard with a Woodchipper||

    I haven't visited that site in years. what's your handle over there?

  • GLEEMORE™||

    It's DPRK Ambassador. I call Trump 'Dear Leader' and Kim Jong Un 'Glorious Dear Reader'. You should come over. The racist douchebaggery is kind of fun. I left here because a.) I was tired of the same arguments over and over and b.) because Gilmore was Threatening to sue me when I'd post as GlLMORE with a capital L.

    I just figured I'd give it a rest.

  • Wizard with a Woodchipper||

    You may see me. I'll be the guy in a hazmat suit.

  • Sevo||

    GLEEMORE™|3.11.17 @ 4:42PM|#
    "... a.) I was tired of the same arguments over and over and..."

    Yeah, it must get tired having people point out what a pathetic piece of shit you are for being a cheer-leader for mass murderers.
    Really tough cross to bare, asswipe.

  • Conchfritters||

    The racist douchebaggery on breitbart is kind of fun, but I prefer the shithouse rat craziness of infowars.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    I just figured I'd give it a rest.

    Suuurrreee you did. Totally buying it.

  • Libertarian||

    Is it just me, or does that pic of Preet look like one of those computer mash ups -- in this case, a mash up of Rahm Emanuel and Chuck Schumer?

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    There are definitely shades of Al Gore as well...

  • Ron||

    they are all mental clones so eventually they turn into what they believe. Lying shit bags

  • OldMexican Blankety Blank||

    Oh, it's like watching the fall of the Reichstag and witnessing the last stand of the bitter clingers. It's fortunate for people like Bharara that there wasn't a whole army out there waitng to get its hand on their women and turn them into prostitutes. At least their downfall was funnier.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Ask not for whom the woodchipper tolls. It tolls for Preet.

  • Buddy Bizarre||

    *golf clap*

  • Wizard with a Woodchipper||

    looks like Preet got woodchipped...feet first.

  • that.is.not.who.i am||

    On public television now - The Best Trains Around North America

    Komina watches in rapt attention

  • Libertarian||

    Yay Republicans!

    2011: "Repeal Obamacare!"

    2013: "Repeal and replace Obamacare!"

    February 2017: "Modify Obamacare!"

    March 2017: "Obamacare 2.0!"

  • Wizard with a Woodchipper||

    You didn't think they were serious, did you?

  • Ken Shultz||

    Phony libertarians!

    2012: "How can the government make us eat broccoli?"

    2017: Repealing the individual mandate is Obamacare 2.0!"

  • Konima||

    lol. Trying to spin this as a libertarian victory is delusional and fucking hilarious.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    I don't know who is funnier: people that actually believed that Republicans would repeal Obamacare or the people that are going to be defending the Obamacare 2.0 as some kind of free market solution. Oh, wait, they are the same people.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Well, there's also the people who think repealing the individual mandate is the same as not repealing the individual mandate--they're the funniest of all.

  • SIV||

    Requiring insurers to collect the penalty rather than the IRS isn't what I'd call a significant improvement.

  • Ken Shultz||

    What are you talking about?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    One of the features of the law is a 30% bump in premiums for one year for those who enroll in a healthcare plan that have not had continuing coverage. It's a trade off for the preexisting coverage mandate. Which is being spun as a private mandate - when it clearly is not one.

  • GroundTruth||

    Seems like a somewhat reasonable compromise. Since you can't be denied coverage for preexisting conditions, it allows the Terrible Bad Apple Insurance Company (R) to recoup a bit of what they're going to shell out on you when you show up with stage four cancer and say: take care of me.

  • Ken Shultz||

    That sure as hell isn't the same as the government forcing us to buy broccoli.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06.....ebate.html

    Like I said, nothing more ridiculous on the interwebs right now than people who claim repealing the individual mandate is no different from not repealing the individual mandate--and call themselves "libertarians".

    Repealing the individual mandate shouldn't be a meaningless distinction to any libertarian.

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    That sure as hell isn't the same as the government forcing us to buy broccoli.

    Problem is, the damage on that one is already done with the supreme court ruling. To paraphrase, we already know what we are, now we're just haggling over the details.

  • Sudden||

    This news has me feeling rather chipper

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    I got wood, and it's not even morning.

  • Seamus||

    Preet Bharara, meet the presidential woodchipper.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    By forcing the Trump administration to fire him, this guy gets to set himself up as an enemy of the president. That will buy him some New York votes for whatever he's planning to run for.

  • Raven Nation||

    Yep: take a look at his Twitter feed. He is already a prog martyr

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    It would have been funny if Trump had trolled Preet Bharara on Twitter, laying out the reasons why they wanted him gone and giving him one last chance to step down honorably.

  • Not a True MJG||

    Oh, most definitely.

  • Dread Pirate Roberts||

    Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    Don't forget that Preet is the ass who shut down online poker as well.

  • Conchfritters||

    Yeah, fuck THAT guy. And thanks to Ken above for pointing out Silk Road. This guy made the entire country less free.

  • Snort||

    Once upon a time a potential employer offered me a job and a raise after 3 months. I agreed. So my weekly check came the following Monday after the 3 months were over and, no raise. I brought this up and reminded him of the promised, and agreed upon raise. Tuesday he agreed he had promised a raise and would include it in my next check along with the previous weeks raise. Monday I show up for work and there is a (clearly) illegal man standing around. My boss hands my check and then fires me. I guess this is a case of "But that was then and this is now".

  • Snort||

    Once upon a time a potential employer offered me a job and a raise after 3 months. I agreed. So my weekly check came the following Monday after the 3 months were over and, no raise. I brought this up and reminded him of the promised, and agreed upon raise. Tuesday he agreed he had promised a raise and would include it in my next check along with the previous weeks raise. Monday I show up for work and there is a (clearly) illegal man standing around. My boss hands my check and then fires me. I guess this is a case of "But that was then and this is now".

  • Snort||

    Sorry for the double post. Slow computer.

  • Fascist loofa-faced shitgibbon||

    No problem, skipping your story twice is as easy as skipping it once.

  • Sevo||

    You should be sorry for posting it. WIH is the point? That your boss figured out in the interim that s/he didn't want you around?

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    and there is a (clearly) illegal man

    Didn't know it was possible to be an illegal man, but since you said it was clear I guess that means... no, I still have no idea what you mean.

    Seems to me the moral of the story is to get things in writing.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    Fuck you and your grandstanding, Preet Bharara. You are a big part of the problem in this country. Fuck off and go get a real job, asshole.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    "Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life."

    Nonsense, Bharara. You clearly have the aptitude to be a highly successful pimp, and it would also clearly be a step up.

  • Brian||

    Ding dong, the dick is gone.

  • Chipper Morning Wood||

    What should we call you now? Brienne of Tarth?

  • Memory Hole||

    Hopefully the net effect of Trump putting his face on the Justice Department is that it becomes more difficult for the federal govt to win criminal trials.

  • DanO.||

    If this, at last, is the Libertarian Moment™, color me underwhelmed.

  • ||

    Too bad that cunt judge who started this mess is still around.

  • mtrueman||

    "And there's something truly disturbing about a DOJ appointee who refuses to take a powder when asked, "

    I, for one, am not truly disturbed by this employee's preferring firing over quitting.

  • Sevo||

    Not surprising; that's because you're not real bright.

  • DanO.||

    Arf!

  • mtrueman||

    You're easily disturbed. Maybe you should try alcohol.

  • Mauser||

    I've always wondered if Reason commenters & their comments are being monitored and background checks are issued on them by the government. I guess this article answered it. Of course everything is potentially monitored online but seriously it's Reason, the greatest threat on here is John hurting some snowflakes feelings.

  • SIV||

    At least reason won't be forced to dox John, Mary already did that.

  • Conchfritters||

    I think the proper term is he got shitcanned.

  • TallDave||

    Just wait for the EPA cuts. They consider their bosses to be people at Sierra Club and Greenpeace, I'm not sure they even understand the concept.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    And they understand so little in general....

  • Vampire||

    "I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life."

    Go fuck yourself!

  • Entropy Drehmaschine Void||

    So we can now put the woodchippers away now, donchaknow.

  • IceTrey||

    So he challenged a guy whose world famous catch phrase is "You're fired!" to fire him. Strong play.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Major points!

  • AlmightyJB||

    He'll be living off of that story at cocktail parties for the rest of his life. And then I said to Trump....

  • DanO.||

    From the linked source:

    All presidents choose their own appointees for United States attorney positions and almost always ask those from their predecessors to leave.

    So Bharara and the others were not "fired" so much as dismissed, as nearly all their predecessors have been by each successive administration.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    He was asked to resign, he refused, so he was fired.

  • DanO.||

    I understand that we libertarians must take our little "victories" when we can get them, but celebrating Bharara's "firing" is like celebrating the fact that, at dawn, the sun came up.

  • Domestic Dissident||

    You're a libertarian like my dog is, Weigel.

    Now go ahead and give in to those suicidal urges.

  • DanO.||

    zzzzzzzzzzz

  • GroundTruth||

    Have a read of CNN or such on the firing; it's clearly a move to take down a fine independent voice of reason who had the strength to stay on in spite of terrible political pressures being brought to bear on him.

    Actually, if you follow the link and read the subpoena, the commentariat quotes are rather mild given what we more typically produce as suggestions for what can be done with politicians and regulators.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I would like to congratulate the future federal prosecutor of the Southern District of New York, whomever that may me. I hope that you enjoy our comment section. I would like to inform you that nothing we say here is serious. It is mostly sarcasm with a dash of hyperbole. None of us actually own woodchippers. I would encourage you to check out the comment sections at HuffingtonPost, Jezebel, Slate, and Frankly Curious though. Those people are psycho. Glad I could help! Your very non-threathening Libertarian friend, AlmightyJB.

  • DanO.||

    Get over yourself. In Bharara's world, the Reason episode was a pimple on a gnat's ass.

  • Mendelism||

    I'm AlmightyJB's world, the "Reason episode" caused real-life anxiety and $$. Fuck off, slaver.

  • DanO.||

    Is "Mendelism" one of your socks, JB?

  • Gaear Grimsrud||

    I actually own a chipper. Only 5 horse but works on appendages. Need a rental for torsos.

  • GlenchristLaw||

    Seems to me the issue was more about Bharara refusing to engage in the Orwellian Kabuki of being "ordered to resign." And for that at least, he is to be saluted.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Not really. It's common practice to ask a professional for a resignation rather than outright fire them. That way you leave the decision of which they would prefer to them. In some situations (not Bharara's) an employee may prefer to be fired because that way they are eligible for benefits, where they may not be if they resign. Most of the time they would prefer that there be some doubt about whether they were fired, or left on their own.

  • Robert||

    Don't they have a trap door installed?

  • Marty Feldman's Eyes||

    Or at least some hounds to release?

  • ||

    Go fuck yourself, Preet, you self-important piece of shit. You and your ilk are a big part of all that is wrong and faux-imperial in the US. Sadly, you'll now be a hero to your cabal of leftist douchebags and encouraged to continue your crusade of eliminating the liberties in the constitution and substituting the "wisdom of Top Men", like yourself.

  • mtrueman||

    " your crusade of eliminating the liberties "

    Let's not forget all the help that he gets. The folks at Reason deserve some recognition for their decision to comply with the order rather than put up any resistance and protect those commenters.

  • Free Society||

    I love that you leap at the opportunity to yet again make an ass of yourself. They did put up resistance. Their lawyers got the gag order thrown out and eventually the subpoena itself was quashed. The afflicted commenters were the first to know by email, before the gag orders was actually issued and as I recall Reason gave them only the most basic of information it had on the commenters.

  • mtrueman||

    "I recall Reason gave them only the most basic of information it had on the commenters."

    As I said, Reason chose to comply with this man's order. I see nothing admirable here.

  • DanO.||

    They named names. They had no choice! What were they supposed to do: go to jail for their principles like some leftist proggie so-called "journalists"?

  • Verner Hornung||

    Which is all they would have anyway. Reason knows nothing about you except your log-in and the ISP and device serial number used to transmit the comment. Of course the latter is traceable if the commenter wasn't careful enough to use a purpose-made email account and public library computer, and might be caught even then if someone saw him at the time in question. Unfortunately, I think the US Attorney is partly in the right on this: A gag order or mass release of records goes too far, but the law enforcers are entitled to see information on the particular comments that contain threats. If you can't walk into a DOJ office and threaten employees there in person, then you can't do it by computer under an anonymity shield.

  • DanO.||

    Go fuck yourself, Preet

    Ah, the sublimity of libertarian rhetoric.

  • ||

    Ah, the inanity of the replacement commentariat.

  • BullChipper||

    Orwellian kabuki
    I'm stealing that

  • Verner Hornung||

    I'm with Reason on most of the issues involved, as far as the gag order and the fishing expedition for data about comments other than ones seen as threatening. But you can't talk about pushing a federal official through a wood chipper any more than you can joke about bombs in an airport security line. Whether the subpoena was successful in court or not, I can't blame Bharara for seeking it. Usually in such cases, a pair of friendly FBI agents visits the comment-dropper to assess seriousness of threat and, if it's just immaturity or momentary anger, warns him to knock it off or go to jail. At least the G-folks worked that way in past; perhaps authorities are less forgiving now.

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