U.S. prosecutor investigating Trump lawyer refuses to resign
Late Friday night, Attorney General William Barr unexpectedly announced the dismissal of Jeffrey Berman, whose office is conducting several investigations into Donald Trump’s entourage.
Jeffrey Berman, a senior federal attorney leading the investigation into President Donald Trump‘s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, refused on Friday to step down, which Berman’s immediate supervisor, Attorney General William Barr insists on..
Late Friday night, Attorney General Barr announced the resignation of Federal Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Jeffrey Berman, and the appointment of Jay Clayton, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission..
Berman, best known for investigating high-profile cases of terrorism, Wall Street financial crimes and government corruption, said that he first heard about his alleged resignation in a press release from the attorney general, and refused to obey a demand from management..
«I have not resigned and I am not going to resign, ”Berman said in a statement. “I will resign when the Senate approves the [prosecutor’s] candidacy appointed by the president. Until then, our investigations will progress without any delay or interruption.».
A Justice Department spokesman, commenting on Berman’s refusal to step down, told Reuters that Barr’s demand for the immediate resignation of the Southern District of New York attorney remains unchanged..
Since his appointment in January 2018, Berman has not hesitated to open investigations against people close to Donald Trump. It was Berman who oversaw the prosecution of Michael Cohen, the president’s former personal lawyer, and then indicted two of Giuliani’s business partners and launched an investigation against Giuliani himself in connection with his attempts to find incriminating evidence on Trump’s political opponents in Ukraine..
At the same time, charges against Giuliani were never filed. Barr’s unexpected demand for Berman’s resignation came at the same time as the Justice Department’s lawsuit in federal court seeking to block the publication of a book by John Bolton, a former national security adviser to the president. Bolton claims Trump tried to thwart one of the investigations conducted by Berman’s office.
Chuck Schumer, head of the Democratic minority in the Senate, suggested that Berman’s unexpected dismissal «smacks of potential litigation».
«What annoys President Trump? Previous or current actions of this prosecutor?» – wondered Sumer.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, Democrat, said he intends to invite Berman to testify.