Top US prosecutor fired after refusing White House order to quit

High-profile NY prosecutor Preet Bharara - who was among the federal attorneys asked to resign by the White House - said Saturday that has been fired.

U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico Damon Martinez resigned from office Friday afternoon at the request of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The U.S. Department of Justice's website has included announcements from several states' U.S. attorneys during the past four months about their resignations in the wake of Trump's Election Night victory.

The order to fire Bharara came down from the president, and Schumer anxious that Trump was "interrupting ongoing cases and investigations and hindering the administration of justice."To further muddy the political waters, the AP reported that Bharara's office is "investigating the financial terms of settlements of sexual-harassment claims against Fox News by its employees".

An outspoken Manhattan federal prosecutor known for crusading against public corruption has said he was sacked after refusing to resign.

Later Friday, another Justice Department spokesman, Peter Carr, said Trump had asked two to stay on - current acting deputy attorney general Dana Boente and the man he picked to take over that position, Rod Rosenstein.

Bharara was asked by then-President-elect Donald Trump to remain as US attorney during a November meeting at Trump Tower.

But such resignations are not automatic, and it isn't unusual for a US attorney to stay on through a new administration.

Bharara has made public corruption and insider trading an emphasis since President Barack Obama appointed him midway through 2009.

Green has been serving as USA attorney since October 14, 2010, after being nominated by Obama on July 14, 2010.

U.S. Attorney's Office spokeswoman Melodie Rydalch said Saturday that the department is not commenting on the matter at this time. At the time, Sessions was the US attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. Presidents generally appoint federal prosecutors based on recommendations from home-state senators, and Sens.

"The way the Obama administration handled it was appropriate and respectful and classy", he said.

Montana's U.S. Attorney Mike Cotter said he received a phone call from a Justice Department official telling him "the president has directed this".

Information from the Associated Press and Times files was used in this report.

"I think it's very unprofessional and I'm very disappointed", he said.

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