At 11pm last Friday night, Attorney General William Barr announced that Geoffrey Berman, lead prosecutor in Manhattan’s US Attorney’s office, had asked to resign his post. Mr. Berman has played a major role in the investigations of President Trump and his allies.
Mr. Berman responded by saying, “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 New York. I will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate.”
On Saturday, Mr. Barr sent a letter to Mr. Berman telling him that the President had agreed to remove him. “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. … Unfortunately, with your statement of last night, you have chosen public spectacle over public service,” the letter reads.
Many Democratic leaders are concerned that Mr. Berman’s firing was a strategic move designed to stop the investigation. Republican leaders focused on defending Trump’s legal right to remove Mr. Berman.
“Clearly the attorney general and the President are within their rights,” said GOP Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who included that “the Department of Justice is capable of continuing (ongoing investigations) without Mr. Berman.” GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham described the firing as “in-artful,” but still valid.