UPDATE: Trump now denies firing Geoffrey Berman…
Speaking to reporters shortly after Barr’s letter was made public, Trump said,
“That’s his department, not my department. I’m not involved.”
Attorney General William Barr said Saturday afternoon that Trump has removed the Manhattan U.S. attorney Barr’s request.
Barr wrote in a letter to Berman.
“Because you have declared that you have no intention of resigning, I have asked the President to remove you as of today, and he has done so.
By operation of law, the Deputy United States Attorney, Audrey Strauss, will become the Acting United States Attorney, and I anticipate that she will serve in that capacity until a permanent successor is in place.”
So what’s the truth here?
Berman, whose office has overseen investigations into Trump’s closest allies, said last night in a statement he would not resign and went into his downtown Manhattan office this morning. Former employees of his office were preparing a letter of support for Berman.
The matter is certain to end up in court, as the legal grounds for removing a sitting U.S. Attorney are unclear.
Democratic lawmakers called for the DOJ’s inspector general and the Office of Professional Responsibility to investigate the reasons for Berman’s dismissal, while some Republicans expressed displeasure with the administration’s handling of nominating a successor.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the firing a
“brazen Trump-Barr scheme to interfere in investigations.”
Well this makes sense. Trump gets Barr to fire Berman and when he refuses to go, Barr gets Trump to fire him. Nevertheless, it is CRYSTAL clear who is doing the firing.
This is a Friday night massacre. Make no mistake, this is a cover-up attempt by Trump and his dirty AG, Barr, to get the investigations into his business dealing to go away.
(Photo, screengrab; via CNN)