President TrumpDonald John TrumpProtesters tear down, burn statue of Confederate general in DC US attorney in NYC who spearheaded probes of Trump allies refuses to leave as DOJ pushes ouster Trump to host 4th of July event despite pleas from lawmakers to cancel MORE has officially fired a U.S. attorney in Manhattan who led multiple investigations involving his associates, according to Attorney General William BarrBill BarrUS attorney in NYC who spearheaded probes of Trump allies refuses to leave as DOJ pushes ouster Barr echoes Trump’s concerns about mail-in voting, says it could ‘open the floodgates of potential fraud’ Mueller report re-released with fewer redactions after legal battle MORE.
The Justice Department announced late Friday that it would replace Geoffrey Berman, a powerful prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, though Berman announced shortly afterward that he had no intention of resigning.
In a letter obtained by BuzzFeed News, Barr notified Berman that he asked Trump to officially fire him after his statement the night before in which he said he had not resigned and suggested he could not be removed until the Senate approved his replacement.
“Unfortunately, with your statement of last night, you have chosen public spectacle over public service,” Barr wrote. “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.”
Trump told reporters Saturday that he was “not involved” in Berman’s dismissal.
“That’s [Barr’s] department, not my department,” Trump said. “That’s really up to him. I’m not involved.”
President Trump: “We have a very capable attorney general.” pic.twitter.com/NmHixUUy9C
— The Hill (@thehill) June 20, 2020
The Department of Justice, Berman’s office and the White House did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Hill.
Berman has investigated several Trump associates, including Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer who was imprisoned for campaign finance violations and lying to Congress.
Berman’s office has also been investigating former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the president’s current personal attorney, in a campaign finance case that has already produced charges against two Giuliani associates.
Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerJamaal Bowman raises M, launches 0,000 ad buy ahead of New York primary Supreme Court surprises rattle disappointed right Schumer endorses Engel in competitive primary fight MORE (D-N.Y.) has called for an investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general, saying Berman’s dismissal “reeks of potential corruption of the legal process.”
Updated 4:33 p.m.