19 June 2020

It Always Happens on a Friday

Geoffrey Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, just got fired. ("Resigned")

I wonder which Trump crony pulled some strings when the heat got too intense:
The Justice Department on Friday abruptly tried to oust the United States attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey S. Berman, the powerful federal prosecutor whose office sent President Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to prison and who has been investigating Mr. Trump’s current personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani.

But Mr. Berman said in a statement that he was refusing to leave his position, setting up a crisis within the Justice Department over one of its most prestigious jobs.

“I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position,” Mr. Berman said, adding that he learned that he was “stepping down” in a press release from the Justice Department.

Attorney General William P. Barr’s announcement that President Trump was seeking to replace Mr. Berman was made with no notice. Mr. Barr said the president intended to nominate as Mr. Berman’s successor Jay Clayton,  current chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr. Barr asked Mr. Berman to resign but he refused so Mr. Barr moved to fire him, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Trump had been discussing removing Mr. Berman for some time with a small group of advisers, the person said.


The announcement came late on a Friday night, a time of day when government officials sometimes release information so that it does not attract widespread attention.
There are so many potential conflict of interest and corruption here that it is going to be tough to narrow it down to a specific clause.


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