Trump’s Personal Lawyer Boasted That He Got Preet Bharara Fired

Marc Kasowitz, President Donald Trump's personal lawyer in the Russia investigation, has boasted to friends and colleagues that he played a central role in the firing of Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, according to four people familiar with the conversations.

Kasowitz told Trump, "This guy is going to get you," according to a person familiar with Kasowitz's account.

Those who know Kasowitz say he is sometimes prone to exaggerating when regaling them with his exploits. But if true, his assertion adds to the mystery surrounding the motive and timing of Bharara's firing.

New presidents typically ask U.S. attorneys to resign and have the power to fire them. But Trump asked Bharara to stay in his job when they met in November at Trump Tower, as Bharara announced after the meeting.

In early March, Trump reversed himself. He asked all the remaining U.S. attorneys to resign, including Bharara. Bharara, a telegenic prosecutor with a history of taking on powerful politicians, refused and was fired March 11.

As ProPublica previously reported, at the time of Bharara's firing the Southern District was conducting an investigation into Trump's secretary of health and human services, Tom Price.

Kasowitz and the White House did not respond to requests for comment.

Kasowitz became a nationally recognized figure last week, after he acted as Trump's designated spokesman to respond to former FBI Director James Comey's landmark Senate testimony.

Kasowitz's claimed role in the Bharara firing appears to be a sign that the New York lawyer has been inserting himself into matters of governance and not just advising the president on personal legal matters.

Kasowitz has also said in private conversations that Trump asked him to be attorney general, according to four people familiar with the matter. Kasowitz said he turned down the role. Ultimately, Trump decided to give the position to then-Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions.

The Southern District of New York conducts some of the highest profile corporate investigations in the country. According to news reports, it is currently probing Fox News over payments made to settle sexual harassment charges against the network's former chairman, the late Roger Ailes. The office is also looking into Russian money-laundering allegations at Deutsche Bank, Trump's principal private lender.

Kasowitz has represented Trump over the years on matters including his failed libel lawsuit against a journalist, the Trump University case, and then-candidate Trump's response to allegations of sexual assault by multiple women last year. Trump retained him to be his personal attorney in the Russia investigation last month.

The New York Times reported Sunday that Kasowitz has advised White House staffers about whether they need personal attorneys, raising conflict of interest questions.

Trump has also turned to Kasowitz's firm to fill jobs in the administration. David Friedman, a former name partner of the firm, is now ambassador to Israel. Trump considered former senator and Kasowitz Senior Counsel Joseph Lieberman to replace Comey.

One of the names floated to replace Bharara is Edward McNally, a partner at Kasowitz's law firm. More than three months after Bharara was fired, Trump has not nominated anyone to fill the Southern District job or most of the other U.S. attorney positions.

Bharara's firing on March 11 came two months before the firing of Comey, head of the FBI. Critics charge that Trump obstructed justice in forcing Comey out.

Comey testified last week that Trump had tried to "create some sort of patronage relationship." Bharara said in a television interview Sunday that Trump had attempted something similar with him: Comey's testimony "felt a little bit like déjà vu."

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SEBI asks commodity exchanges to set up IPF and ISF
Securities markets regulator SEBI on Tuesday mandated commodity exchanges to set up investor protection fund (IPF) and investor service fund (ISF) from July 1.
"The investor claim arising out of a default of a broker/member of the exchange shall be eligible for compensation from IPF," SEBI said in a circular.
"In case of claims against a defaulter member, the claims of the claimant shall be placed before the defaulters' committee for sanction and ratification. The defaulters' committee's advice with respect to legitimate claims shall be sent to IPF Trust for disbursement of the amount."
According to the securities markets regulator, the IPF Trust of the commodity exchanges shall have a maximum of five trustees.
"All the penalties levied and collected by the exchange, except for the settlement related penalties (including penalties from delivery default), shall be credited of the IPF. One per cent of the turnover fee charged by the exchange from its members/brokers or Rs 10 lakh which ever is higher in a financial year," the circular said.
The circular pointed out that if any claim arises within three years from the date of expiry of the specified period, such claim shall be considered eligible for compensation from IPF.
"The exchanges are free to fix suitable compensation limits, in consultation with IPF trust. However, the amount of compensation available against a single claim of an investor arising out of defaulter by a member broker shall not be less than Rs 1 lakh," the circular read.
"The compensation shall be disbursed to the investor from the IPF in case there is a shortage of defaulter broker's assets after its realization."
Besides, SEBI mandated commodity exchanges to set up ISF for providing basic minimum facilities at various Investor Service Centres (ISC).
"At initial stage, the exchange shall contribute a minimum of Rs 10 lakh towards setting up of ISF," the circular added. 
"Subsequently, onwards, the exchanges shall transfer the one per cent of the turnover fees charged by the exchange from its members on monthly basis towards ISF within seven days of the end of the month, subject to minimum of Rs 10 lakh in a financial year." 
"The exchange shall also plough back the entire income earned on the corpus of ISF to the ISF within one month from the end of September and March of each year."
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.



Infosys terms media coverage, activist investors as risk factors
Terming negative media coverage and actions of activist shareholders as risk factors, global softare major Infosys on Tuesday informed the market regulators that such activities could adversely affect its stock prices and execution of strategies.
"Negative media coverage and public scrutiny may affect the prices of our equity shares and ADSs (American Depository Shares), while actions of activist shareholders may affect our ability to execute strategic priorities," said the IT major in a regualtory filing to the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) under 'risk factors'.
Similar filings were made to the Indian bourses - BSE and NSE - along with its annual report for fiscal 2016-17 ahead of its 36th annual general meeting here on June 24.
Claiming that media coverage and public scrutiny of its business practices, policies and actions had increased in the past 12 months, the firm said negative media coverage in relation to its business, board or directors or senior management may adversely impact our reputation.
"Responding to allegations in the media may be time consuming and could divert attention of our directors and senior management away from business. Any unfavorable publicity may also impact investor confidence," it said.
Noting that such activities could interfere with its ability to execute strategic plans, the company said they may also incur significant legal fee and public relations costs.
"The perceived uncertainties as to our future direction could affect client and investor sentiment, resulting in volatility in the price of our securities," it said in the filing.
The country's second largest exporter of software services has been in the news since February following serious differences between its co-founders and the board of direcctors over corporate governance issues, increase in compensation for senior executives and high severance package to its former chief financial officer.
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.



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