NEW YORK: A Manhattan federal prosecutor who says "absolute independence" was his touchstone for over seven years as he battled public corruption announced he was fired Saturday after he refused a day earlier to resign.
Preet Bharara, 48, revealed his firing on his personal Twitter account after it became widely known hours earlier that he did not intend to step down in response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions' request that leftover appointees of former President Barack Obama quit.
"I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired," Bharara said in the tweet.
In a statement later, he said: "Serving my country as US Attorney here for the past seven years will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life, no matter what else I do or how long I live. One hallmark of justice is absolute independence, and that was my touchstone every day that I served."
He said current Deputy US Attorney Joon H Kim will serve as acting US attorney.
The Justice Department late Saturday confirmed Bharara was no longer US attorney but declined to expound.
Just over three months ago, then-President-elect Donald Trump asked Bharara to remain on the job and Bharara told reporters after the Trump Tower meeting that he had agreed to do so.
Meanwhile, Michigan Rep. John Conyers, the House Judiciary Committee's top Democrat, requested Saturday that the committee receive a summary of probes linked to Trump, whether they touch on his administration, transition, campaign and organization, "so that we can understand the full implications of this weekend's firings."
He said he suspected Bharara "could be reviewing a range of potential improper activity emanating from Trump Tower and the Trump campaign, as well as entities with financial ties to the president or the Trump organization."
Bharara was appointed by former President Barack Obama in 2009. In frequent public appearances, Bharara has decried public corruption after successfully prosecuting over a dozen state lawmakers, Democrats and Republicans alike.