Federal prosecutor ousted
by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 6/20/20, 05:48 pm
The U.S. Department of Justice announced the firing of a U.S. attorney from New York who was investigating Rudy Giuliani, who serves as President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer and is the former mayor of New York City. Attorney General William Barr said on Friday that Geoffrey S. Berman had resigned. But Berman denied he stepped down and showed up to work at the Southern District of New York in Manhattan on Saturday. “I’m just here to do my job,” he said. Barr then informed Berman that the president had fired him at Barr’s request. “Unfortunately, with your statement of last night, you have chosen public spectacle over public service,” Barr wrote.
Why was Berman fired? Trump and Barr did not make the reasons for Berman’s dismissal clear. The president has the authority to remove federal prosecutors. On Saturday, Trump told reporters the move “was all up to the attorney general.” Barr said Deputy U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss, would take over the top job until a permanent successor is in place.
Dig deeper: Berman also led the high-profile prosecution of financier Jeffrey Epstein on sex-trafficking charges. Read Emily Belz and Esther Eaton’s report from a court hearing in that case before Epstein’s death in prison in 2019.
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Kyle is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.