Back when Donald Trump woke up one day in March and decided to ask forty-six U.S. Attorneys for their immediate resignations, many suspected that it was merely cover for getting rid of Preet Bharara in particular. He’d busted Russian and Turkish nationals with alleged connections to Trump, and was presumably going after Trump himself next. But Bharara refused to resign, buying him an extra day or two before being fired – and now we know why.
“I’m told by my source that Bharara took that time while still in office to collect and transfer all Trump files to [New York State Attorney General Eric] Schneiderman,” revealed Washington insider Claude Taylor today (link). This helps explain several things. One is why Preet Bharara bought himself an extra bit of time by refusing to abide by Trump’s request to resign; he needed that time to pull his accumulated evidence together and get it to Schneiderman. The other is why Schneiderman ended up hiring Bharara’s former right hand man Howard Master (NY Daily News) just ten days later, in a move that could not have been coincidental.
This also explains why Schneiderman is now reportedly bringing state level RICO charges against Trump and his associates (link). Preet Bharara had likely been working on a federal level RICO case against Trump at the time Trump fired him. So why would Bharara give the evidence to a state level official instead of a fellow federal official?
The short answer is that Donald Trump might end up finding a way to hinder or scuttle any federal prosecution brought against him, as he controls the Department of Justice and he can fire any U.S. Attorneys who might come after him. But there is nothing Trump can do to stop a state level case. And as Palmer Report has previously pointed out, Trump can’t pardon himself or his associates from any state level crimes or charges.