Preet Bharara has been described as a "rock star" of the law enforcement world. Highly respected throughout the law enforcement community, watch how he was greeted as he left his office for the final time today:
It’s unknown why Donald Trump insisted on firing Preet Bharara, especially after personally telling Bharara in November meeting at Trump Tower that he would be retained under the Trump administration. One thing is clear, Trump’s pal Vladmir Putin was not a fan. He personally banned Bharara and 17 other Americans from visiting Russia in a 2013 order:
The remaining officials are justice and law enforcement officials whom Russia accuses of violating the rights of its citizens abroad. Several were involved in a case against Viktor Bout, the convicted arms dealer now in federal prison in the United States, and in a drug-trafficking case against a Russian pilot, Konstantin Yaroshenko.
The most high-profile among those barred is Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, who oversaw prosecution of the Bout case.
Oddly enough, on the day before Bharara left office, Russian news outlet Russia Today notes that Bout's case could headed to the Supreme Court:
US prosecutors will not object to a petition for a retrial filed by Viktor Bout’s defense attorneys in the Supreme Court, a representative of the defense team told reporters.
Russian businessman Viktor Bout is currently serving a 25-year prison sentence in a US prison after being convicted in 2012 of a conspiracy to kill US citizens by supplying anti-aircraft weapons to a Colombian rebel group.
The process and sentence were a result of a sting operation by US agents and Bout has always denied all charges.
In February this year, the defense team appealed his sentence with the US Supreme Court, claiming prosecutors had concealed evidence that could have affected the initial court ruling.
On Sunday, lawyer Aleksey Tarasov told RIA Novosti that he had received a letter from US prosecutors in which they wrote that they would not file any objections to the appeal.
The Russians want Bout back in Russia and they want their comrade to help:
Lawyers representing Russian citizen Viktor Bout, currently serving a 25-year sentence in the US, said that they hoped the new White House administration would satisfy a plea to extradite their client to Russia under an international convention.
“If Mr. Trump’s election campaign statements about his intention to normalize the relations with Russia are truthful, we would prefer to deal with the new administration,” she said.