Trump fires prosecutor from office that includes Comey’s daughter
The usual suspects lined up over the weekend to denounce the Trump administration’s latest attempt to hire and fire administration officials in the troubled prosecutor’s office for the Southern District of New York.
On Friday, Attorney General Bill Barr announced that the lead prosecutor for the office, Geoff Berman, was stepping down, pending the approval of a new prosecutor.
Berman, however, said that he had no intention of resigning the post, at which point he was fired by the president.
While liberals are questioning the president’s motives in the move, Berman himself says that he thinks the office in good hands with his deputy in charge.
“She is the smartest, most principled, and effective lawyer with whom I have ever had the privilege of working,” Berman said about Deputy U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss who has become acting U.S. Attorney. “And I know that under her leadership, this Office’s unparalleled AUSAs, investigators, paralegals, and staff will continue to safeguard the Southern District’s enduring tradition of integrity and independence.”
But that hasn’t stopped the Democrat impeachment brigade from calling for an investigation.
Adam Schiff (D-CA), a key figure in the impeachment of Trump earlier this year, said he hoped Berman would come testify in front of Congress.
Jerry Nadler (D-NY) head of the judiciary committee in the House says he’ll start an investigation, but that impeachment of Barr or Trump wouldn’t result in anything.
Calling the Senate corrupt, Nadler told CNN: “I don’t think calls for his [Barr’s] impeachment are premature any more than calls for the president’s impeachment were premature, but they are a waste of time at this point.”
But an insider account from the administration says that Berman was just being difficult.
“Once there was an intent to nominate Jay Clayton as United States Attorney, Attorney General Bill Barr tried to work through a smooth transition,” the official said. “Geoffrey Berman refused all positions offered to him and made a public spectacle, prompting Barr to ask for permission to fire the U.S. Attorney immediately, and President Trump agreed.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham has said that the president has the authority to fire political appointees. Previously, the president fired lead prosecutor Preet Bharara from the same office in 2017. Bharara was replaced by Berman.
The Southern District of New York is overseeing a number of anti-Trump investigations, including the investigation into Rudy Giuliani, the investigation into the Trump inaugural, and an investigation into Trump’s tax records.
There are other reasons for Trump to worry.
Maurene Comey, the daughter of Trump-fired FBI director, James Comey, is an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York. She graduated from Harvard in 2013 and was in charge of the Jeffery Epstein prosecution.
In a filing with the court, Comey claims the prosecutors lost the Epstein suicide tape due to “technical errors.”
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