US Attorney Berman Says He Is NOT Resigning

US Attorney Berman Says He Is NOT Resigning

Berman was initially appointed to his position by Preet Bharara, who was also fired by Trump.

Geoffrey Berman, who has also overseen prosecutions of key allies of President Donald Trump, said he learned of his apparent withdrawal as United States attorney for the Southern District of NY in a press release issued on Friday night.

A Justice Department official, asked about Mr Berman's refusal to leave the post until a successor is confirmed, said the "timeline remains the same" as Mr Barr laid out in announcing the replacement.

The standoff marks the latest in a series of unusual actions by Attorney General William Barr that critics say are meant to benefit Trump politically and undermine the independence of the Justice Department.

Barr did not explain the move in the statement he issued late on Friday.

Berman responded by saying that he would not step down.

He said that until a presidentially appointed nominee was confirmed by the Senate, the office's "investigations will move forward without delay or interruption".

Steve Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, said the vacancy needs to be filled by someone who is Senate-confirmed or chosen by a judge. What is angering President Trump?

"I have not resigned", he declares, "I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position, to which I was appointed by the Judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of NY".

Geoffrey Berman oversaw the prosecution of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and probed advisor Rudy Giuliani's efforts to discredit the president's political opponents since he was appointed to head the powerful Southern District of NY attorney's office in 2018.

In an unexpected announcement on Friday night, Attorney General William Barr had said that President Donald Trump would be nominating Jay Clayton, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to succeed Berman in his post. But the various investigations are still ongoing and no charges seem imminent, said the people familiar with the matter, who weren't authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Mr Berman is also at the centre of a row between the Duke of York and American authorities over his availability to answer questions about Epstein, and has accused Andrew of "shutting the door" on the probe into the child sex offender.

It also comes as Trump seeks to purge officials perceived as not fully supporting him.

A senior administration official said Barr made the decision because Clayton planned to leave the SEC position and return to NY and expressed interest in the USA attorney's position.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan handle some of the most sensitive financial, political and national security cases in the Justice Department, and Berman's office has a long tradition of charting its own course on high-profile cases.

"Unfortunately, with your statement of last night, you have chosen public spectacle over public service", Barr wrote, adding that the idea that Berman had to continue on the job to safeguard investigations was "false".

But the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel argued in a 1979 opinion that the "power to remove a court-appointed USA attorney rests with the president".

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, also a Democrat, said he intends to invite Mr Berman to testify. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he was unlikely to proceed with Clayton's nomination unless New York's senators, Democrats Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, gave their consent to the pick.

Geoffrey Berman, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of NY, speaks during a news conference in NY, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. Deviation from that norm, especially under the particular circumstances at work here, is more than a little troubling. A spokesman for Berman did not immediately comment. They pretty clearly serve at the pleasure of the President, regardless of whether they were directly or indirectly appointed.

Experts pointed to a 1979 memo (pdf) from the Office of Legal Counsel, which produces opinions about what the White House can legally do.

Trump is allowed to replace Berman - but only after the Senate confirms a replacement.

Related Articles

  • Chelsea signing Werner gives me motivation, says Giroud

    Chelsea signing Werner gives me motivation, says Giroud

    But he made his gratitude towards the German club clear by saying: "I had four great years in Leipzig". The Germany worldwide forward has scored 11 goals in 29 games for his country.
    RIL becomes net debt-free company

    RIL becomes net debt-free company

    PIF's investment will translate into a 2.32% equity stake in Jio Platforms on a fully diluted basis. Reliance also raised ₹53,124 crore through a sale of shares to existing investors.
    Police speak to people of interest after shooting

    Police speak to people of interest after shooting

    Superintendent Naila Hassan said the officer, whose identity had not been made public, had not been in the force for long. Police minister Stuart Nash said the country was "heartbroken" by the tragic shooting.
  • Trump Considering Suing His Niece Over Book

    Trump Considering Suing His Niece Over Book

    When Fred Jr.'s children contested the will, Donald Trump responded by cutting them off the family's healthcare plan. And the Daily Beast added the president has asked them to explore legal retribution - or at least a threat.
    Major League Baseball  finally took a positive step towards restarting the season

    Major League Baseball finally took a positive step towards restarting the season

    Only four days earlier he had guaranteed a season, which many believed at minimum he would call for a season of around 50 games. The length of the season is one of the final issues Major League Baseball and the union still have to hammer out.
    'I'm Getting Pulled Over' Shortcut Added To iPhones Record Police

    'I'm Getting Pulled Over' Shortcut Added To iPhones Record Police

    Then, it "opens your front camera and starts a video recording so you have a video record of being pulled over". The shortcut can be installed on your iPhone and will initiate a series of actions if prompted.
  • In first face-to-face engagement since lockdown, Kate Middleton backs business

    In first face-to-face engagement since lockdown, Kate Middleton backs business

    During his visit, he listened to emergency personnel detail the work that has been carried out over the last few weeks. The Duchess' assembly is based on a lesson plan which is available on the Mentally Healthy Schools platform.
    Twitter slaps Trump with 'manipulated media' label over satirical video mocking CNN

    Twitter slaps Trump with 'manipulated media' label over satirical video mocking CNN

    Earlier on Thursday, Facebook removed ads run by the Trump campaign , saying the ads violated its policy against organized hate. The first time, the company added a fact-check to a Trump tweet that misstated how California was handling its mail-in voting.

    How Technology Changed Gaming

    They are as popular as Fortnite’s second chapter that, according to techradar.com , will be talked about for some time. The gaming industry as a whole now has games with demanding graphics that can be played on a phone as well as on a computer.
  • China charges two Canadians with spying in Huawei-linked case

    China charges two Canadians with spying in Huawei-linked case

    He said Canadian authorities should jail Chinese spies and work with allies to "tarnish the reputation" of China. His only comments on the matter came when he was asked by the press to respond to China's latest action.
    Vikings among National Football League  teams to recognize Juneteenth and close offices Friday

    Vikings among National Football League teams to recognize Juneteenth and close offices Friday

    On June 19th, African-American people across the U.S. take part in various events to celebrate the abolition of slavery. Today, June 19, is known as Juneteenth - a holiday celebrating the liberation of slavery in the United States.
    Jimmy Kimmel to take summer break from 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!'

    Jimmy Kimmel to take summer break from 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!'

    I've been doing this job for nearly 18 years, I've done 3,130 shows and there's nothing wrong my family is healthy. As Kimmel announced his summer vacation, he also had some fun with the show's long-time "nemesis" Matt Damon .