'Billions' creators react to the firing of US Attorney Preet Bharara

PHOTO: Paul Giamatti as Chuck Rhoades in "Billions" (2016).PlayShowtime/IMDb
WATCH Democrat on House Oversight Committee says firing of US Attorney Preet Bharara raises 'a lot of questions'

The creators of "Billions," a TV drama loosely based on the story of famed U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's investigation of a Wall Street hedge-fund manager, are speaking out after the prosecutor was fired by the Justice Department.

Bharara, who was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced in a statement Saturday that he was "fired" after he did not follow orders to resign. His statement came about 24 hours after the Department of Justice asked the 46 U.S. attorneys remaining as holdovers from the Obama administration to step down.

"Billions" creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien took to Twitter to show their support for Bharara.

"I've always admired @PreetBharara, who is as hilarious as he is smart," Koppelman wrote Saturday. "He's also a man of honor and principle, which he's proving again now."

"Billions" is inspired by the events around Bharara's investigation of hedge-fund manager Steven Cohen as part of a crackdown on insider trading. In the Showtime series, Paul Giamatti portrays fictional U.S. Attorney Charles Rhoades Jr. while Damian Lewis plays fictional hedge-fund manager, Bobby Axelrod. Showtime just renewed the series for a third season earlier this month.

"You're a great man, Preet," Koppleman continued. "An inspiration. Can't wait to see what's next. Tech advisor + cameo???"

Levien had the same idea of Bharara joining the television show in some way, tweeting: "Writing staff?"

Koppelman also shared a fond memory of Bharara on the set of "Billions."

"This is Levien and me w PB/PG right outside US Atty's Office in July," the creator wrote with a photo from the set. "Lotta laughs. (I've lost 18 lbs since)."

Bharara announced his firing in a statement late Saturday.

"Today, I was fired from my position as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York," he said in a statement. "Serving my country as U.S. attorney here for the past seven years will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life, no matter what else I do or how long I live."

Earlier that day, Bharara tweeted, "I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life."