Recent firings in the top levels of the Trump administration have raised eyebrows, including the firings by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo of the inspector general who was investigating him for crimes and corruption and Attorney General William Barr’s firing of the SDNY U.S. Attorney who was investigating some of Trump’s associates as well as the ongoing Jeffrey Epstein case.
At @HouseJudiciary Committee, we are continuing our investigation of Bill Barr. We will interview Geoffrey Berman next week on July 9. https://t.co/phky2Ig4yd
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) July 2, 2020
Geoffrey Berman, the prosecutor who investigated Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen and who was, at the time of his firing, investigating Trump’s new attorney and “fixer” Rudy Giuliani as well as his associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, first learned that he “resigned” when Bill Barr announced it and pushed back by stating publicly that he had no intention of resigning. Barr then announced that President Trump had officially fired Berman only for Trump to say publicly that he had nothing to do with it.
Now, some of the mystery around his firing might finally get some answers.
According to CBS News:
‘He initially refused to leave office after Attorney General William Barr released a statement that he would be “stepping down.” Barr announced the next day that President Trump had fired Berman, who then said he would comply to “respect the normal operation of law.”
‘His deputy, Audrey Strauss, is leading the high-profile office as the acting U.S. attorney. Mr. Trump intends to nominate Jay Clayton, the current chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to replace Berman.’
Interesting note: indictment of Ghislaine Maxwell by SDNY is signed by Audrey Strauss, who became acting US attorney 2 weeks ago after her boss Geoffrey Berman refused to resign when AG Bill Barr pushed him out. Barr was not able to install his choice to run the office. pic.twitter.com/bIo59ZzzrM
— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) July 2, 2020
No explanation was given for Berman’s firing other than that the White House wanted the current chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, to fill the role. There has also been no explanation for the conflicting statements made around Berman’s ouster, and the conspiracy tone of the entire story is not helped by the White House’s silence.
‘Congressional Democrats expressed concern over Berman’s ouster, accusing the administration of removing Berman because he was involved in investigations into Mr. Trump’s associates. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said last month that none of the investigations underway in Berman’s office will be affected by his departure.
‘”The administration has very clearly outlined the reason that he is leaving, and it is because Mr. Clayton will be moved into that role,” she said.’
Ousted U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman to testify before Congress in closed-door session https://t.co/E2fhqkcRA2
— Grace Segers (@Grace_Segers) July 2, 2020
In addition to the investigations into Giuliani and his Ukrainian friends, Berman had been the lead investigator into the case against Jeffrey Epstein, who is believed to have committed suicide shortly after his arrest and imprisonment. The case continues against his longtime girlfriend and apparent procurer, Ghislaine Maxwell, who was arrested on Thursday just two weeks after Berman’s firing.
CNBC reports that:
‘Maxwell’s prosecution by the Southern District comes less than two weeks after the former head of the office, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, was fired by Trump.The office is now being led on a temporary basis, at least for now, by Berman’s former deputy, Strauss.
‘Berman in the months before his termination repeatedly said his office was investigating Epstein’s co-conspirators.’
1. Alan Dershowitz melted down on Twitter.
2. Bill Barr tried his best to fire Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the SDNY.
3. That SDNY arrested Ghislaine Maxwell, who knows everything about Jeffrey Epstein, Alan Dershowitz, Bill Barr, and Donald Trump.
— Andrea Junker (@Strandjunker) July 2, 2020
Featured image screenshot via YouTube