The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York who was abruptly fired by President Trump, Preet Bharara, spoke out today in his first public appearance since being asked to resign.
Bharara gave a speech at the 2017 Iselin Lecture, held at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, in which he took several digs at President Trump that our thin-skinned despot won’t appreciate.
Bharara opened with a joke about how the crowd at his speech was larger than President Obama’s inauguration, poking fun at Trump over his obsession with his inaugural crowd size and the ridiculous effort he put in to convince America his was larger than Obama’s.
“I just want to say one thing about crowd size…I don’t care what the pictures show, my crowd is a lot bigger than Obama’s crowd…From where I stand here, looks to be about 1.5 million people.”
The federal prosecutor went on to poke fun at the President about the unusual way in which he was told to resign, refused to do so, and was fired.
Moving on to more serious topics, he addressed President Trump’s campaign trail promise to “drain the swamp” in Washington, criticizing the President for failing to drain the swamp and instead filling it with wealthy but incompetent ideologues.
“Because you know what there is a swamp. Lots of the system is rigged. Those are not alternative fact.But 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 engineers], not do-nothing, say-anything, neophyte opportunists. Not those who know a lot about bully and bluster but not so much about justice and fairness. Draining a swamp takes genuine commitment to justice and fairness.”
While Bharara did say that he wasn’t going to be entering politics (“I don’t have any plans to enter politics, just like I don’t have any plans to join the circus”), the lecture sold out of tickets. He’s become an enormously popular figure and will hopefully dedicate his energies towards leading the resistance now that he’s out of a job.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.