U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara speaks at a press conference on...

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara speaks at a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in New York. Credit: Louis Lanzano

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District, Preet Bharara, went to the Manhattan courtroom to hear the jury deliver its verdict on Sheldon Silver yesterday. But the media-savvy prosecutor stunningly avoided the cameras afterward, and at an awards event yesterday evening. Instead, his office issued a 16-word statement.

After all, Bharara already had danced in the end zone in February, when his office indicted the then-Assembly speaker, one of the most powerful men in the state. But the reviews of Bharara's brash performance -- giving speeches and interviews highlighting himself as the crusader against the "cesspool" of Albany -- were harsh.

Still, he pushed back against the criticism, claiming a mandate to speak out. "I have an absolute, not just right, but obligation to conduct myself in this job not only for the purpose of holding people accountable, but also for deterrence purposes and for prevention purposes," he told the Nation magazine. "I'm not going to stop talking about public corruption."

What happened to the mandate?

Well, Loretta Lynch, formerly the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District in Brooklyn, was never fond of the grandstanding by her counterpart across the river. Lynch became his boss in April.

This was featured in The Point, the editorial board's daily newsletter that goes inside New York politics. Click here to subscribe (mobile users, use the link above).

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