new York After a power struggle with the government of US President Donald Trump, the prominent New York prosecutor Geoffrey Berman resigns with immediate effect. Berman said on Saturday evening (local time) that he would hand over the management of the New York State District Attorney’s Office to his deputy, Audrey Strauss. It was “the honor of his life” to work as a public prosecutor in the district.
Earlier, U.S. Attorney General William Barr said that President Donald Trump had fired Berman. Berman – who also investigated Trump’s employees – had previously refused to resign. In a letter from Barrn to Berman, published verbatim by CNN and also cited by the US media, on Saturday said: “Since you have stated that you have no intention of resigning, I asked the President to take you from today Day off, and he did. “
Trump did not initially confirm his dismissal of Bermuda. Before leaving for a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday afternoon (local time), the president said the conflict with Berman was a matter for Barr. “I’m not involved.”
In a statement on Friday evening (local time), Berman contradicted the US Department of Justice, which had previously announced his replacement. “I have not resigned and I have no intention of resigning from the position that I have been appointed by the United States District Court judges for the Southern District of New York,” Berman wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.
The 60-year-old lawyer had made a name for himself in the past few months with investigations into the abuse scandal surrounding the businessman Jeffrey Epstein, who died in 2019. Since his appointment in January 2018, he has also targeted various close Trump employees.
Minister of Justice William P. Barr announced on Friday that Berman was stepping down after two and a half years, and thanked him for his “excellent job”. The White House announced that Jay Clayton, currently chief securities officer, should become the new district attorney for a four-year term.
Berman wrote that it was only in Barr’s press release that he learned of his alleged resignation. “I will resign if a candidate appointed by the President is confirmed by the Senate. Until then, our investigation will continue without delay or interruption, ”wrote Berman.
The CNN broadcaster reported, citing sources in the Ministry of Justice, that Berman had been offered positions in the Ministry of Justice that the latter had refused. Barr asked Berman to resign at a meeting in New York on Friday.
Democratic minority leader in the US Senate, Chuck Schumer, accused the Republican Trump government of intervening in a Bermuda investigation. Schumer asked Clayton to withdraw his nomination. The chairman of the House Justice Committee, Democrat Jerry Nadler, invited Berman to testify about Barr at a scheduled hearing. Nadler accused Barr of interfering in criminal investigations on behalf of Trump.
Trump’s then-Secretary of Justice Jeff Sessions – with whom Trump later overturned – had appointed Berman as the executive district attorney. Trump never sent the nomination to the Senate. After 120 days, Berman was formally called to the post by the judges of the district court. Berman’s predecessor Preet Bharara on Twitter raised the question of why Trump wanted to get rid of the prominent prosecutor a few months before the November election. Trump released Bharara after he refused to resign.
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