'Sheriff of Wall Street' Says 'People Are Right' About System Being Rigged
“I think to an extent, people are right about the system being rigged.”
By NICKI ROSSOLL
June 26, 2016, 1:57 PM
• 2 min read
-- This election year has exposed widespread voter anger directed at Wall Street, and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara agrees that "to an extent, people are right about the system being rigged."
"I think people have a right...given the track record of this office and other offices of exposing fraud, to be worried about that," Bharara told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.
That track record of rooting out fraud has earned Bharara the nickname "Sheriff of Wall Street," but he has also set his sights on the corruption plaguing New York's state capital. Since taking office, he's prosecuted cases against more than a dozen state officeholders.
"We have found that corruption is rife in a lot of institutions in New York and throughout New York. That's true in the legislature," he said. "It's also the case that there's corruption, we believe, in the executive branches as well. And we'll ferret it out wherever we find it."
Preet Bharara's office was once held by FBI Director James Comey, who is currently looking into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state. When asked how a prosecutor determines whether to bring a case against a public official in a political year, Bharara said every case needs to be held to the same high standard of objectivity.
"We should not ever be substituting our judgment -- as to who should or should not be in office -- unless they have clearly violated criminal statutes and are deserving of criminal prosecution," he said.
Several people who have held Bharara's office have gone on to hold higher office, including Comey and Rudy Giuliani. But, Bharara insists he has the job he wants, and dismissed the idea of going into politics or heading to Washington, telling Stephanopoulos, "I love New York. New York is great. This is my home."