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D.O.J. Attempts to Oust U.S. Attorney Who Investigated Trump Associates, With No Notice, Late on a Friday

Benjamin Weiser and William K. Rashbaum, reporting for The New York Times at 10:30pm on a Friday evening:

The Justice Department abruptly announced on Friday that it had replaced the United States attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey S. Berman, the powerful federal prosecutor whose office sent President Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to prison and who has been investigating Mr. Trump’s current personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani.

The announcement that Mr. Berman would be replaced was made with no notice by Attorney General William P. Barr, who said the president intended to nominate as Mr. Berman’s successor Jay Clayton, current chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Ben Rhodes:

We are so many miles further down to road to authoritarianism than our political and media culture can process.

Update: This all came as a surprise to Berman himself, who says he’s not resigning and isn’t going away:

I learned in a press release from the Attorney General tonight that I was ‘stepping down’ as United States Attorney. I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position.

I’d make popcorn if this wasn’t so terrifying.

Friday, 19 June 2020