ABC Suggests Trump Fired U.S. Attorneys After On-Air Urging from Sean Hannity

After of a week of the liberal media claiming President Donald Trump was being misled by conservative media, ABC’s David Wright continued the charge by insinuating the President was listening to Fox News for governing advice. “On Friday, the Attorney General asked for resignation letters from all 46 federal prosecutors who were Obama-era holdovers,” Wright reporting during Good Morning America before diving into conspiracy theories, “Sessions' decision to clean house came just one day after Trump loyalist Sean Hannity called for a purge.”

Wright played a YouTube video of Thursday’s Hannity, where the Fox News host warned that there were “Obama holdovers bureaucrats who are hell bent on destroying this president.” Hannity then declared that “Tonight, it's time for the Trump Administration to begin to purge these saboteurs before it’s too late.” Wright made the same charge during Saturday’s World News Tonight.

The bizarre insinuation came as the network was bemoaning the firing of Obama-appointed US Attorney Preet Bharara. “Not many prosecutors get the cover of Time magazine. But that's Preet Bharara in 2012 with the headline, ‘This man is busting Wall Street,’” touted Wright, “Bharara refused. ‘I didn’t resign,’ He tweeted Saturday, ‘Moments ago I was fired.’”

In contrast, during NBC’s Sunday Today, a far more grounded reason for the firing of Bharara and the US attorneys was given. “This happened under President Clinton. Attorney General Janet Reno asked those 93 attorneys to step aside,” host Willie Geist recalled as he asked MTP moderator Chuck Todd for further analysis about why it was getting so much attention.

“I think it's only getting more attention because of Preet Bharara, to be honest,” Todd seemed to scoff. He noted that Bharara was the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, which is “high-profile,” and that New York Senator Chuck Schumer got Trump to agree to keep Bharara on board initially. “The relationship between Schumer and Trump has soured big time. So, I don't think Trump feels as if he has to uphold that deal anymore,” Todd explained. He also drew attention to the important role such appointments play for political parties:

And the second, you got to remember what political parties use U.S. attorney appointments for. It is used in many cases to seed the political party of future governors, mayors, senators. U.S. attorneys are usually where your next level of political leaders come from in every new political administration when you have a change in parties likes to, sort of, reseed the U.S. attorney slots in that respect.

NBC did make a similar charge to Wright’s during Saturday’s morning show Today, but dropped the assertion come that evening’s Nightly News broadcast.

ABC’s Wright did mention that such mass firings have happened before but treated that fact as just a convenient excuse for the White House. “One big difference is that the Trump Justice Department is already embroiled in controversy,” he stated as he seemed to try and tie the firings to ongoing investigations, “Investigating Russian meddling in the election. Including allegations, Trump campaign officials may have colluded. The attorney general himself is under scrutiny.”

It’s extremely irresponsible for ABC News to spend an entire weekend peddling a report driven by conspiracy theory. It’s especially hypocritical of them after they spent the previous weekend falsely claiming Mark Levin was a “conspiracy-Loving” conservative talk radio host.

Transcript below:

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ABC
Good Morning America
March 12, 2017
8:08:14 AM Eastern

DAN HARRIS: The other big story involving the Trump Administration this morning. That bizarre standoff with a prominent federal prosecutor. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara refused a request from the Justice Department that he step down and then he tweeted that he got fired. ABC’s David Wright is in Washington with more. David, good morning to you.

DAVID WRIGHT: Good morning, Dan. Even if this is the first time you're hearing his name, you definitely heard of Preet Bharara's job. This is the most prominent prosecutor in the country. It's Giuliani's old job. Or if you watch the show Billions, it's Paul Giamatti's character. If there were ever a case where the alleged crime scene were Trump Tower, this would be the guy most likely to try it.

[Cuts to video]

Not many prosecutors get the cover of Time magazine. But that's Preet Bharara in 2012 with the headline, “This man is busting Wall Street.” Back in November, the President-Elect summoned the fiercely independent prosecutor to Trump Tower and asked him to stay.

PREET BHARARA: We had a good meeting. I said I would absolutely consider staying on. I agreed to stay on. I have already spoken to Senator Sessions.

WRIGHT: Not anymore. On Friday, the Attorney General asked for resignation letters from all 46 federal prosecutors who were Obama-era holdovers. Bharara refused. “I didn’t resign,” He tweeted Saturday, “Moments ago I was fired.”

But ABC News has learned there were crossed signals. Sources say Bharara received a voice mail Thursday from the White House asking him to call back and speak with the President. No reason given. Bharara believed speaking with the President would violate DOJ protocols, so he contacted the Attorney General's office instead and told the White House, he could not speak with the President. The White House declined to comment on the phone call.

Sessions' decision to clean house came just one day after Trump loyalist Sean Hannity called for a purge.

SEAN HANNITY: For weeks, we have been warning you about the deep state Obama holdovers bureaucrats who are hell bent on destroying this president, President Trump. Tonight, it's time for the Trump Administration to begin to purge these saboteurs before it’s too late.

WRIGHT: But the White House notes plenty of other presidents [showed pictures of Clinton, Bush, and Obama] have installed their own prosecutors, too. One big difference is that the Trump Justice Department is already embroiled in controversy. Investigating Russian meddling in the election. Including allegations, Trump campaign officials may have colluded. The attorney general himself is under scrutiny.

JEFF SESSIONS: Therefore, I have recused myself in the matters that deal with the Trump campaign.

[Cuts back to live]

WRIGHT: As we say, it's not uncommon for an administration to put their own prosecutors in at the Justice Department. What is odd here, is the timing. The abrupt order on a Friday afternoon after promises were apparently given. Amidst everything else that’s going on at the Trump Justice Department. Dan?

HARRIS: Yeah Davis, a lot to talk about here. So, thank you for your reporting.

NBC
Sunday Today
March 12, 2017
8:06:28 AM Eastern

WILLIE GEIST: Let’s talk about Preet Bharara, we’ll start right there with the US attorneys. He being the most high profile of the 46 asked to resign. There are 96 US attorneys of the United States, 47 of them had already stepped aside on the new administration, now the remaining 46 asked to leave. This happened under President Clinton. Attorney General Janet Reno asked those 93 attorneys to step aside. Why is this different? Why is this getting so much more attention?

CHUCK TODD: I think it's only getting more attention because of Preet Bharara, to be honest. Because, he's a very highest profile US attorney in arguable the most high profile district, southern district of New York. And because of that pledge that Chuck Schumer, the Democratic senator, got out of then-President-elect Trump that he would keep Preet Bharara in place.

Obviously, I think the relation-- there's a couple things you got to keep in mind here Willie. Number one, the relationship between Schumer and Trump has soured big time. So, I don't think Trump feels as if he has to uphold that deal anymore.

And the second, you got to remember what political parties use U.S. attorney appointments for. It is used in many cases to seed the political party of future governors, mayors, senators. U.S. attorneys are usually where your next level of political leaders come from in every new political administration when you have a change in parties likes to, sort of, reseed the U.S. attorney slots in that respect.

By the way, politically Willie, Preet Bharara, if he ever wants to run for office, he's been very clever about how he's gone about this this week. He raised his name I.D., he raised his profile. If he indeed is a candidate for mayor of New York City, he's gone about it in a pretty effective way.

Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas Fondacaro
Nicholas C. Fondacaro