Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, December 14, 2015

Bharara: I'm Not Going Anywhere

If Sheriff Andy and the other crooks in Albany were hoping the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District was looking for another gig (as was rumored), they can disabuse themselves of that notion:

Sources close to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara dismissed growing speculation in some circles that he is preparing to soon leave his high-powered post now that he has won convictions of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and ex-Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos cases.

One called it "possible wishful thinking" on the part of Bharara detractors.

Sources have said Bharara, knowing his time is likely running out with President Obama having just a year left in his term, was considering leaving after his two biggest public corruption cases wrapped up.

But those close to him say he has no plans of leaving any time soon. They say it's conceivable he could stay on into the term of the next president, particularly if it's a Democrat.

Bharara's office has a number of ongoing cases involving public officials, including Gov. Cuomo.

I know Bharara has said he's not interested in running for public office.

I'm not sure I believe him about that.

But I do believe that he's not looking to leave his current job for a while.

After all, there's still a lot of work to do:

Mr. Bharara, whose office has won the convictions of about a dozen current and former state legislators in his six-year tenure, said his public corruption investigations were continuing, but he would not discuss them.

Liz Benjamin (from the Politico NY morning email) asks the most obvious question about where those investigations go next:

As the 2016 session approaches, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has officially rained on Albany's parade, cementing himself through the convictions of both Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos - not to mention former Deputy Senate Majority Leader Tom Libous - as the most powerful person at the Capitol, even though he has never stepped foot in the building. Whereas once lawmakers feared Gov. Andrew Cuomo and wondered how much leeway he would allow them, now they - and perhaps even the governor himself - fear Bharara and wonder when the next shoe will drop. Since Bharara has already ousted two of Albany's storied "three men in a room" who made all the decisions, the next logical question is when - and if - he'll also seek to fell the last, and most significant, man standing: Cuomo himself. 

Yup - a lot of work left to do.

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