Cummings: 'May be' connection between Bharara firing, investigations of Trump

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said there could be a connection between the firing of former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and investigations into President Trump.

During an interview on ABC's "This Week," Cummings, the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, said the president has the right to fire U.S. attorneys.

But he noted that not very long ago, the president said he was willing to "keep the U.S. attorney there in New York."

"And then suddenly, he's, I guess, changed his mind," Cummings said.

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"I'm just curious as to why that is, and certainly there's a lot of questions coming up as to whether ... President Trump is concerned about the jurisdiction of this U.S. attorney and whether that might affect his future," he continued.

"You look at everything surrounding the investigations — there are a lot of questions that need to be asked, but again, the president does have that prerogative."

 

 

Last week, watchdog groups asked Bharara to investigate Trump regarding foreign business deals, according to The Washington Post. The groups requested the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York look into whether the president had gotten benefits from foreign governments, in violation of the Emoluments Clause.

"I think that, again, what has been happening is that there is an air of distrust that has been brought on by President Trump himself," Cummings said Sunday.

"So I think that in part, the president has created this situation for himself. But yeah, sure, no doubt about it, when they asked about the Emoluments Clause and possible violations of it and the U.S. attorney's relationship to that, I think that had perhaps something to do with."

When pressed further on whether he thinks there might be a connection, Cummings said: "There very well may be."

Cummings also said the president needs to be more careful about what he tweets and what he says. He said Trump needs to do "less tweeting and do more leading."

Bharara was ousted after reportedly refusing the Trump administration's request that he resign.