For eight years, Foley Square was Preet Bharara’s turf. Within the walls of his office and in the courthouses that line the Law & Order set, he put away dozens of insider-traders and almost as many corrupt Albany politicians, earning himself a Time magazine cover and fame far beyond that of the average U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York not named Rudy Giuliani.
It’s been less than two weeks since his triumphant firing, not even enough time for Preet to take up his new job at NYU. But he just can’t stay away from the old stomping grounds. Literally: One of the business partners of one of the men Preet (briefly) put away is suing the ex-U.S. Attorney and his FBI buddies for maybe kinda sorta fudging the facts in their application to raid hedge fund Level Global Investors. This is something Preet & co. don’t think he should be allowed to do. Unfortunately for Bharara, whether or not he can will be decided by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, a group that Preet hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye with in the past.
U.S. District Judge William Pauley last year denied Mr. Bharara and the other defendants’ motion to dismiss Mr. Ganek’s lawsuit, ruling that Mr. Ganek could seek documents from and question those involved in the probe. Mr. Bharara said he and the other defendants would appeal Judge’s Pauley’s order to the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
On Friday, a three-judge panel of the appellate court will hear the sides’ arguments….
In its appeal, the U.S. attorney’s office argues that the defendants are entitled to qualified immunity, a doctrine that insulates government officials from civil liability unless an individual’s constitutional rights are violated.