On Sunday morning's edition of "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" on ABC, former NY U.S. Attorney Preet Bhahara gave his first television interview since his sudden firing by President Donald Trump in March.
During an appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Bharara said he believes "there is absolutely evidence to begin a case".
"No one knows right now whether there is a provable case of obstruction", he said, adding: "There's no basis to say there's no obstruction".
"He called a third time after he became president, and I refused to take the call", Bharara said.
Mark Corallo, a spokesman Trump's personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz, pushed back against Bharara's characterizations, suggesting on Twitter that if a US attorney refused to take Trump's call "he deserved to be fired". "This argument that you keep hearing on TV shows-that the mere fact that the President can fire an official at will-doesn't solve the problem", he said.
Bharara, however, felt that the calls were inappropriate in nature since the attorney general had not been kept in the loop.
Bharara was one of the 45 attorneys who were asked to resign earlier this year by the Trump administration.
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The president "never told Comey , 'I need loyalty, I expect loyalty, ' in form or substance", Kasowitz said in a statement . And Risch noted that Comey had said he interpreted Trump's words as a "direction" to drop the Flynn investigation.
Mr Bharara said in the ABC News interview that watching how Mr Comey's interactions with Mr Trump and how his firing played out "felt a little bit like deja vu".
Initially, Trump himself asked Bharara to remain in office during the transition, though it was never clear how long Bharara would continue to man his post.
"So he called me in December, ostensibly just to shoot the breeze and asked me how I was doing and wanted to make sure I was OK".
Trump fired Comey on May 9, and the White House gave conflicting reasons for the decision. It was similar to what Jim Comey testified to with respect to a call he got when he was getting on the helicopter. One of the President's attorneys named Mark Corallo was the one to respond to Bharara's explosive claims.
After winning election in November, Trump met with Bharara, who had been us attorney for the Southern District of NY since 2009, and asked him to remain in his position when the new administration took office.
He then compared the phone calls to the awkward June 2016 meeting at a Phoenix airport between former President Bill Clinton and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch who was investigating Hillary Clinton's email server.
During the Trump administration's transition into the White House, Bharara was invited by the president-elect to Trump Tower, where he was asked to stay on as USA attorney.