William Barr is trying to illegally overturn a judicial appointment and oust the US Attorney who is investigating Rudy Giuliani.
The Justice Department moved abruptly Friday to oust Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan overseeing key prosecutions of President Trump’s allies and an investigation of his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani. But Berman said he was refusing to leave his post and his investigations would continue.
“I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position,” Berman said.
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Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating Giuliani’s business dealings, including whether he failed to register as a foreign agent, according to people familiar with the probe. The people were not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Berman was appointed by the court, which means that Barr and Trump can’t just push him out:
This #SaturdayNightMassacre will pit Trump and Barr against the federal court that appointed Berman to serve as US Atty for SDNY “until a successor is confirmed.” Barr’s hamhanded lie that Berman had “stepped down” won’t do the trick.
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) June 20, 2020
Trump dug his own grave on Berman due to his habit of using acting officials. Trump and Barr now have to go through the formal process of nominating and confirming a new US Attorney, which given the slowness of the Senate, a pandemic, and the fact that it is a presidential election year, so the Senate is not scheduled to be in session hardly at all in the fall all add up to mean that Berman might be in his job through November.
Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer asked the relevant question about Trump and Barr’s move on Berman in a statement provided to PoliticusUSA, This late Friday night dismissal reeks of potential corruption of the legal process. What is angering President Trump? A previous action by this U.S. Attorney or one that is ongoing?”
Trump and Barr’s action is a sign that another shoe is about to drop, and Donald Trump is worried that it will cost him the election.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association