Preet Bharara. Pic/AFP
Preet Bharara, the India-born former top US federal prosecutor, has said that there was enough evidence to begin an obstruction of justice case against President Donald Trump over his alleged interference in the Russia probe.
Bharara also alleged that before firing him, Trump tried to cultivate relationship with him and that the pattern was similar to that of sacked FBI Director James Comey. Bharara was one of the 45 attorneys who were asked to resign earlier this year by the Trump administration.
"I think there’s absolutely evidence to begin a case (against Trump). I think it's very important for all sorts of armchair speculators in the law to be clear that no one knows right now whether there is a provable case of obstruction," Bharara told ABC News.
"It’s also true I think from based on what I see as a third party and out of government that there’s no basis to say there’s no obstruction," he said in his first television interview after being fired by Trump.
President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump, and their son Barron Trump walk from Marine One across the South Lawn to the White House. Pic/AFP
Talking about attempts by Trump to cultivate a relationship with him, Bharara said there were "unusual phone calls" and while reading the stories of how the president had been contacting Comey over time, he had a feeling of deja vu. Bharara said Trump first called him in December when he was the president-elect.
"He called me again two days before the inauguration… and then he called me a third time when he – after he became president and I refused to return the call," Bharara said. Bharara said it was a very "weird and peculiar" thing for the president to have a one-on-one conversation with a person has been asked to investigate various things and is in a position hypothetically to investigate business interests and associates of the president.
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