Earlier, US Attorney in Manhattan Geoffrey Berman announced that he had no intention of resigning, saying that he learned he was “stepping down” from a press release by US Attorney-General William Barr on Friday.
US Attorney General William Barr announced in a statement that he asked President Donald Trump to remove Manhattan’s US Attorney Geoffrey Berman, adding that “he has done so”. Denouncing Berman for choosing “public spectacle” over “public service”, Barr said that his position will be overtaken by the Deputy US Attorney Audrey Strauss.
“Unfortunately, with your statement last night, you have chosen public spectacle over public service. 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. By operation of law, the Deputy United States Attorney, Audrey Strauss, will become the acting United States Attorney, and I anticipate that she will serve in that capacity until a permanent successor is in place”, Barr’s statement said.
Barr went on to note that he expected Berman’s cooperation to “facilitate a smooth transition”, as General wanted “the opportunity to nominate a distinguished New York lawyer, Jay Clayton” to nominate as US Attorney. He said that he hoped Berman’s departure from the office “could be amicable”.
Barr also said that in Berman’s statement, he misunderstood how he could be displaced, pointing out that “a court-appointed US Attorney is subject to removal by the President”.
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