U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said Tuesday that his office is doing all it can to prosecute corrupt government officials, but said the issue is far more than a “prosecutor’s problem.”
Bharara, who has received accolades for his work against corruption on Wall Street and in New York’s political circles, went on something of a stemwinder against New York’s “public corruption crisis,” calling on leaders across the state to do more to fight it.
“Many may understandably resign themselves to the sad truth that perhaps the most powerful
special interest in politics is self-interest,” Bharara said. “As I said once before, every time a politician is arrested in New York, it should not feel like a scene from Groundhog Day. And yet it does.”
“Now, I think that we have the best corruption-fighting team in the business. And we will
continue pursuing and punishing every corrupt official we find. But the public corruption crisis in New York is more than a prosecutor’s problem.
“Putting dirty politicians in prison may be necessary but it is not sufficient. And the dream of honest government cannot come to pass unless there is real change in the culture.”
Here’s Bharara’s full remarks, as prepared: