Almost immediately after former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara was fired on Saturday, rumors began swirling in political circles that Bharara’s high-profile exit — forcing the Trump administration to fire him instead of complying with their request to offer his resignation — was a way of positioning himself to run for political office.
“I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life,” Bharara said on Twitter Saturday afternoon.
Shortly after Bharara’s firing, The New York Daily News’ Kenneth Lovvett wrote: “Bharara has long been speculated about as a potential future candidate for something,” adding: “Bharara has long denied an interest in running for public office, but few in New York’s political circles actually believe that.”
NBC Nightly News writer Brad Jaffy suggested Preet’s dramatic exit was “the potential opening salvo in a Bharara campaign,” possibly for mayor of New York City. Preet’s office currently has an open investigation into current NYC mayor Bill de Blasio.
Taking this stand is the potential opening salvo in a Bharara campaign. First ad for … NYC mayor? Or… https://t.co/Qsk4HH03d8
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) March 11, 2017
Other political insiders on Twitter echoed Jaffy’s sentiments.
What can @PreetBharara do now? There is a mayor’s race coming up not to mention a governor’s election race later.
— Kerry Picket (@KerryPicket) March 11, 2017
Coming soon to a campaign ad near you… https://t.co/mDBYMD1CnO
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) March 11, 2017
— Yashar (@yashar) March 11, 2017
the next Mayor of NYC. https://t.co/ZiRPSJOORu
— Cheri Jacobus (@CheriJacobus) March 12, 2017
“I was fired by Trump” will be a good campaign slogan when Preet runs for something eventually
— Colin Jones (@colinjones) March 11, 2017
If Bharara were to run for mayor of NYC, he would have to move relatively quickly: the next mayoral election will take place this November. New York’s gubernatorial election is in 2018.