Donald Trump tried to call Preet Bharara before firing him

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway

The call for resignations applies to all Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorneys, including Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of NY.

It is not unusual for attorneys appointed by former presidents to be asked to resign, with the change normally coming as the new administration takes over.

One of the highest-profile United States attorneys, Bharara built a reputation on vigorously going after corruption cases involving NY elected officials and aides of those office holders.

On Saturday afternoon, Bharara wrote on his personal Twitter account, which he set up eight days ago: "I did not resign. Moments ago I was sacked".

But Preet Bharara, the crusading USA attorney for the Southern District of NY, told his section chiefs late Friday that he hadn't submitted his resignation letter and might instead challenge Sessions to fire him, according to The Daily Beast.

"As was the case in prior transitions, numerous United States Attorneys nominated by the previous administration already have left the Department of Justice", Isgur Flores said in the email. A spokesman for Bharara declined to comment.

Bharara was included in the group asked to leave, even though he said he had met with Trump before the Republican took office and had been asked to stay on. It was under his prosecution that India-born former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta was convicted for insider trading in 2012. I said I would absolutely consider staying on. Mr. McGahn told me that the transition would be done in an orderly fashion to preserve continuity.

CNN calls him the most high-profile U.S. Attorney in the nation, but Bharara, 48, is best known for taking on Wall Street corruption and white collar crime in high-profile cases such as the Times Square bomber. I have already spoken to Senator Sessions, who as you know is the nominee for attorney general.

The US Attorney for the Southern District of NY declined to take the call and instead contacted the Justice Department to ask for permission to talk to the president but he was denied, the official told Reuters in a Sunday report.

The abrupt order came after two weeks of increasing calls from Trump's allies outside the government to oust appointees from President Barack Obama's administration.

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