Thursday night, Sean Hannity called on Donald Trump to “purge” the “Obama holdover” “saboteurs” from the government, specifically citing the United States attorneys. Friday, Trump abruptly did just that. The purge includes one federal prosecutor that was reportedly investigating Fox News.
From The New York Times (with my emphases added):
The firings were a surprise — especially for [Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan], who has a reputation for prosecuting public corruption cases and for investigating insider trading. In November, Mr. Bharara met with then President-elect Donald J. Trump at Trump Tower in Manhattan and told reporters afterward that both Mr. Trump and Jeff Sessions, who is now the attorney general, had asked him about staying on, which the prosecutor said he expected to do.
But on Friday, Mr. Bharara was among federal prosecutors who received a call from Dana Boente, the acting deputy attorney general, instructing him to resign, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Several officials said the firings had been planned before Friday.
But the calls from the acting deputy attorney general arose a day after Sean Hannity, the Fox News commentator who is a strong supporter of President Trump, said on his evening show that Mr. Trump needed to “purge” Obama holdovers from the federal government. Mr. Hannity portrayed them as “saboteurs” from the “deep state” who were leaking secrets to hurt Mr. Trump. It also came the same week that government watchdogs wrote to Mr. Bharara and urged him to investigate whether Mr. Trump had violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution, which bars federal officials from taking payments from foreign governments.
In Mr. Hannity’s monologue, he highlighted the fact that the Clinton administration had told all 93 United States attorneys to resign soon after he took office in 1993, and that “nobody blinked an eye,” but he said it became a scandal when the George W. Bush administration fired several top prosecutors midway through his second term.
As Gabriel Sherman pointed out, Bharara is also the prosecutor investigating Hannity’s employer, Fox News, for criminal wrongdoing. “Imagine GOP reaction if Obama had fired a prosecutor investigating MSNBC less than 24 hrs after Rachel Maddow called for the resignation...” Sherman tweeted:
Imagine GOP reaction if Obama had fired a prosecutor investigating MSNBC less than 24 hrs after Rachel Maddow called for the resignation....— Gabriel Sherman (@gabrielsherman) March 10, 2017
Ever willing to put partisan politics over patriotism, principles and decency, Hannity responded to the news of Friday’s firings by asking, “And when are arrests coming after this?”
Watch Hannity call for a purge of “every holdover from the Obama administration” below, from the March 9, 2017 Hannity, via Media Matters.
God Help America,
We need you now,
We’re attacking oil-rich countries,
And we’re making the world really mad!
Crossing oceans, climbing mountains,
And invading foreign soil,
God Help America — NO BLOOD FOR OIL,
God Help America — NO BLOOD FOR OIL!