Preet Bharara, the high-profile U.S. attorney unceremoniously fired by President Trump, has embraced the commander in chief’s favorite communications platform: Twitter.
Bharara created a personal Twitter account shortly before being ousted in March, but he told Yahoo News last week that the timing was a coincidence.
“I do not have a firing crystal ball,” he said, citing a departmental rules change about personal social media accounts.
Since then, he has accumulated nearly 300,000 followers through a mix of patriotic musings, legal commentary and a heavy dose of caustic wit.
“I think some conduct deserves to be satirized and ridiculed,” Bharara said.
Indeed, he’s mused about being drunk enough to retweet Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera’s commentary after Trump did precisely that.
If I drank each time a knee-jerk partisan called me "disgruntled" in a tweet today, would I be drunk enough to RT Geraldo Rivera? Prolly not https://t.co/y6CKNTMAnw
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) June 12, 2017
… and wondered aloud how to get his mom off his back:
My mom wants to know if there is an exception to this rule. https://t.co/sZxqbR1p6E
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) May 6, 2017
… after invoking a Founding Father to rib Congress:
"I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress." – John Adams https://t.co/XoQZGI3gw7
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) May 1, 2017
Characterizing his 140-character habit as little more than a “fun, occasional sideline,” Bharara denied yearning during his tenure as U.S. attorney for the same freedom he now enjoys as private citizen.
“When you’re overseeing criminal prosecutions — or you’re president of the United States, for that matter — you should speak in a particular voice, you should, I think, have a particular kind of restraint,” Bharara said pointedly.
In other words, “My personality hasn’t changed, my position has changed.”
That credo is in direct contrast to the undisciplined style favored by Trump, who has lately taken to blasting out freewheeling, multipart denouncements of the investigation into whether his campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Still, Bharara declined to say whether he would advise Trump to curb his Twitter usage.
“Given that there was a report that his personal lawyer who is advising him on these matters is a person who boasted about having me fired, I’m going to let Donald Trump keep his own wise counsel,” he said.
ProPublica, citing anonymous sources, reported that Trump’s lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, boasted that he told the president to watch out for Bharara, known for cracking down on Wall Street and New York state lawmakers. Bharara now teaches at New York University School of Law.
Though it’s common for presidents to replace U.S. attorneys appointed by a predecessor of the opposite party, Bharara said Trump had agreed to keep him on after he visited the then president-elect at Trump Tower. Their relationship apparently changed.
As for the revelation that the former prosecutor has the capacity for cracking wise, Bharara dismissed the suggestions that the two were incompatible.
“Most people I know in the world are not 100 percent serious or 100 percent glib or 100 percent funny,” Bharara said. “People have complex personalities, and depending on the occasion, or the mood or the subject matter, they can be one or the other.”
“And that’s also true of me. I’m a human being too.”
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