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Is Preet Bharara, current Mahhattan DA, Obama's next AG?

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There's speculation that Preet Bharara, current U.S. District Attorney for the southern district of New York (that's Manhattan and environs), will replace Eric Holder as Obama's AG.

The source of that rumor is Charlie Gasparino, whom Emptywheel calls a "noted Wall Street booster".

Gasparino (my emphasis):

All of the good publicity flowing from the crackdown on insider trading has one of the nation’s top law enforcement officials looking at what he might do in the future, and he’s seeing a lot of green.

Preet Bharara, the US Attorney for the Southern District, is telling friends that if he should leave his job today, he could earn as much as $6 million in the private sector, according to people with direct knowledge of these conversations. Bharara's private statements come as speculation grows in Washington that the politically savvy prosecutor might also replace his boss, US Attorney General Eric Holder, if President Obama wins re-election.
Let's analyze this piece. "Noted Wall Street booster" (read, go-to media mouth for Wall Street players) says Bharara is "telling friends" he could make a killing in the private sector.

Now ask yourself: How does Wall Street's top cop make a killing in the private sector? The same way everyone else in financial regulation does? (They call that "Thank You" money in revolving door parts of the world.)

Bharara's not exactly "known bad" — but if the qualification for Holder's job is "failing to prosecute" he might just fit. After all, Bharara's big-deal prosecution, of hedgie Raj Rajaratnam, was actually started under George Bush, prior to Bharara's taking office. Oops, taking false credit? Maybe that's what Gasparino means by "politically savvy":
Bharara has ruffled feathers of late among long-time prosecutors who believe he is taking undue credit for his office’s high-profile investigation into insider trading. President Obama appointed Bharara to the job in May of 2009, but the roots of the investigation began during the Bush Administration in 2007.
Not to mention, if Bharara's office found only one illegal hedgie, he's not looking. Just like the big-deal Chicago investigation into traffic-ticket-fixing some years ago, the one that found two bad lawyers and one corrupt judge. Heck, I could find ten corrupt traffic judges today; just give me a ticket and a list of law firms.

Emptywheel sums it up nicely (my paragraphing):
When ... Harvey Pitt, whose enabling of financial corruption set new standards even from the Wall Street-coddling SEC ... hails what your office is accomplishing, it usually means Wall Street crooks are getting a legal pass. As they are.
Click through for more, and don't forget to admire the nice Time magazine cover shown there. When Time pimps you as "busting Wall Street," look at your feet for the rising fog.

I have to say, though, I am disappointed in Time's cliché-checking department. I know they didn't use the phrase "blue-eyed boy" but really ... (the wonders of Photoshop).

If your little heart said, "Ah, branding" — you have a smart little heart. Yes, Time mag is part of the plan.


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