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Bill Barr Unleashed Chaos at SDNY When He Tried to Fire Geoffrey Berman

Bill Barr Unleashed Chaos at SDNY When He Tried to Fire Geoffrey Berman

A law-enforcement source with knowledge of the situation inside the Southern District of New York described a chaotic situation there following Attorney General William Barr’s Friday night announcement that U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman was resigning, followed an hour later by Berman replying that he had not resigned and would not leave.

The person said that prosecutors and office leaders had been blindsided by Barr’s announcement, and concerned about what this could mean for their cases going forward. There is not only confusion about who to follow—Barr or Berman—but also what happens to the many, many politically sensitive cases and investigations being handled by SDNY.

“This is one of those things where the amount of speculation outstrips the amount of knowledge by so much,” said the person. “It’s like dealing with defendants: ‘what’s the reason they did this?’ You’re trying to analyze it rationally and then you realize it’s not necessarily rational.”



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