AG Barr Tries to Remove Federal Prosecutor Investigating Trump Associates Including Rudy Giuliani
Attorney General William Barr is trying to remove a federal prosecutor who is conducting a criminal investigation into Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, in a campaign finance case, along with several of Giuliani's associates. Barr issued a statement yesterday saying Geoffrey Berman, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York was "stepping down." Berman, however, made it clear several hours later that Barr had lied and that he had no intention of leaving his post.
Berman: “I learned in a press release from the Attorney General tonight that I was ‘stepping down’ as United States Attorney. I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position, to which I was appointed by the Judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York."
"I will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate. Until then, our investigations will move forward without delay or interruption. I cherish every day that I work with the men and women of this Office to pursue justice without fear or favor – and intend to ensure that this Office’s important cases continue unimpeded.”
Berman is a Republican who contributed to Trump's campaign, but he has shown an independent streak, conducting numerous investigations of individuals close to the President including Giuliani and Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who was imprisoned for lying to Congress, among other crimes. It has also been reported that Berman's office is "among several federal entities investigating Deutsche Bank, which has long-running business ties to the Trump family and Trump Organization."
So, Trump and Barr want him gone but that might be more difficult than they had hoped.
Washington Post: "Unlike many other U.S. attorneys, Berman is almost uniquely positioned to resist efforts to oust him, at least for a while. U.S. attorneys are typically nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, but in Berman’s case he was appointed to the job by the federal court in his district, and there is some legal precedent indicating that only the court, not the Justice Department, can remove him until a replacement is confirmed by the Senate."
His statement then sets up an interesting political calculation for the US Senate. The Republicans hold the majority, but will they vote to replace Berman when it's so readily apparent that his ouster is politically motivated and meant to quash corruption investigations of individuals close to the President.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content