Report Raises More Questions About President's Dismissal Of Preet Bharara
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A high-profile U.S. attorney fired by the Trump administration last week had been investigating potentially illegal stock trades made by a member of the president's cabinet, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price (pictured), according to a new report from ProPublica.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, of the Southern District of New York, was fired after refusing the administration's request to step down.
Given that Trump previously told Bharara he could stay on as U.S. attorney, some observers have speculated that his firing may have come in response to an investigation by his office involving the president or his administration.
Bharara, known as "the sheriff of Wall Street," had a reputation for investigating white collar crime and political corruption. His jurisdiction included Trump Tower in Manhattan, and days before his firing, he'd been asked to look into whether the president's foreign business dealings violate the U.S. Constitution.
Days after his firing, Bharara fueled the speculation by comparing his plight to that of the Moreland Commission, which was disbanded by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo after it began to investigate his aides.
According to ProPublica, a person familiar with Bharara's office said he had been looking into stock trades made by Price when the current HHS secretary served as a congressman from Georgia. Price allegedly traded 300,000 worth of shares in health companies while engaging in legislative action affecting the industry.
Democrats have said Price may have violated the federal STOCK Act, which prohibits members of Congress from using nonpublic information for profit. But during his confirmation hearings, Price insisted the trades were legal.
The Trump administration did not comment for ProPublica's report.