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Preet Bharara to stay as U.S. attorney in Manhattan

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara met with President-elect Donald

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara met with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016. After the meeting, Bharara told reporters he agreed to stay on in his job as chief federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, which has jurisdiction in Manhattan, the Bronx and the Hudson Valley. Credit: AP / Evan Vucci

Preet Bharara, U.S. attorney for the Southern District in Manhattan, said Wednesday he will remain in the post after President-elect Donald Trump asked him to stay on.

Bharara, who met Wednesday with Trump, said he told the president-elect that the U.S. attorney’s office would continue to conduct its work “independently, without fear or favor.”

As chief federal prosecutor in Manhattan, Bharara has won plaudits for his focus on political corruption and insider trading cases.

His office won convictions of former state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) and former state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) on corruption charges. The office also has been involved in the investigation of alleged sexting by former Rep. Anthony Weiner. Silver and Skelos are appealing.

Bharara said Trump called the meeting, which lasted less than an hour at Trump Tower.

“We had a good meeting. I said I would absolutely consider staying on. I agreed to stay on,” Bharara told reporters. “I have already spoken to Senator [Jeff] Sessions, who is as you know the nominee to be the attorney general. He also asked that I stay on.”

Bharara once worked for Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who said Wednesday that Trump had called him last week “and asked me what I thought about Preet Bharara continuing his role as U.S. attorney. I told him I thought Preet was great, and I would be all for keeping him on the job and fully support it. I am glad they met and am glad Preet is staying on. He’s been one of the best U.S. attorneys New York has ever seen.”

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