Senators Question Attorney General Sessions About Bharara Firing Amid Reports of Justice Department Investigation of HHS Secretary Price

Text of letter available here (PDF)

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), today sent a series of questions to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions about President Donald Trump’s decision to fire Preet Bharara, formerly the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, amid a new report that Bharara was “overseeing an investigation into stock trades” made by Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price. 

Secretary Price had made $300,000 in trades of “stock in dozens of pharmaceutical, healthcare, and biomedical companies while actively sponsoring, cosponsoring, or voting on dozens of bills that could affect these companies,” leading to questions about whether he had violated the STOCK Act. Price also purchased discounted shares of stock in Innate Immunotherapeutics, which he learned about from a fellow congressman, and then provided misleading information to the Senate and the Office of Government Ethics about this investment.

The decision to remove Bharara was surprising and unusual because in November 2016, then President-elect Trump asked, and Bharara agreed, to “stay on as the United States attorney.”

In the letter to Attorney General Sessions, the senators requested a detailed account of the circumstances leading to Bharara’s firing, including questions about who was responsible for the decision and whether they were aware of the investigation of Price at the time.  In addition, the senators also asked Sessions to disclose whether Bharara was conducting any additional investigations of President Trump, his family or other administration officials at the time of his firing.