Geoffrey Berman, a strong US official who investigated Trump's associates, refuses to resign after Barr pushes him

Geoffrey Berman, a strong US official who investigated Trump’s associates, refuses to resign after Barr pushes him

“I have not resigned, and I have no intention of resigning, my position, which I have been appointed by the judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. I will resign when confirmed by a Senate presidential candidate,” he said. Berman. “Until then, our investigations will proceed without delay or interruption.”

Berman’s objection came about an hour after the Justice Department announced that Trump intended to appoint Jay Clayton, chairman of the Capital Market Commission, who had never been a prosecutor.

A Justice Department official told CNN that Burman had been offered other positions in the judiciary, including the head of the city department, where Assistant Attorney General Judy Hunt announced his departure this week. Berman refused.

A second source familiar with the matter said Berman was called to resign and refused. Attorney General William Barr asked Berman to resign in a personal meeting in New York on Friday, the source said.

Any forced removal of Berman is likely to be audited within the U.S. Attorney General’s Office and between career prosecutors. He has been the US attorney for Manhattan since 2018 and under his leadership, his office has sued Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, investigating top trusted Trump Rudy Giuliani and blaming former associates of Iarnague and New York mayor. Furman.

Tensions between the New York and Washington offices have risen, with Berman and Barr avoiding handling certain cases, including the Turkish Halkbank indictment.

Last fall, Justice Department officials discussed replacing Berman with Ed O’Callaghan, a senior official, but then prosecutors blamed Giuliani’s associates, a move that appeared to extend Berman’s term.

The timetable was announced shortly before 10 p.m. ET immediately raised questions about the circumstances surrounding Berman’s departure.

“Preet Bharara, a senior CNN legal analyst who was fired by Trump as a U.S. attorney for the Southern Territory shortly after Trump took office in 2017, told CNN’s Don Lemon that the announcement was late at night.” extremely irregular act … when all the rotating research is there. ”

“The president, his associates, may be angry at the way some of the previous investigations were conducted, in relation to his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, and others,” he added.

Senate minority leader Chuck Sumer said Friday night’s dismissal was a possible corruption scandal. What infuriates President Trump? A previous action by this American prosecutor or an ongoing one? “

Before Clayton was appointed to the SEC by Trump, he was a corporate lawyer for Sullivan & Cromwell. If confirmed, Clayton would be the first non-prosecutor to lead SDNY.

Barr and Clayton have known each other for years, a Justice Department official said, and Clayton planned to leave to return to New York. He expressed interest in SDNY’s work, the Justice official said, and Barr agreed.

Barr said Trump had appointed Craig Karpenito, the current U.S. attorney for the New Jersey region, to serve as an active U.S. attorney for the New York Southern District until his confirmation. Carpentio will start the role on July 3.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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