Nadler: House Judiciary Committee will open investigation into Berman firing

Source: The Hill | June 20, 2020 | Lauren Vella and J. Edward Moreno

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) announced Saturday that the committee will immediately open an investigation into the Trump administration’s decision to fire Manhattan U.S. attorney Geoff Berman.

“The House Judiciary Committee will immediately open an investigation into this incident, as part of our broader investigation into Barr’s unacceptable politicization of the Department of Justice,” Nadler said in a statement.

“On Wednesday, the Committee will hear from two whistleblowers who will explain why Barr’s attempt to fire Mr. Berman is part of a larger, ongoing, and wholly unacceptable pattern of conduct. If the President removes Mr. Berman, then we will take additional steps to secure his testimony as well.”

The news comes after the DOJ announced Friday that it was replacing Berman, and that Berman was stepping down from his post in New York. 

About an hour later, Berman made a public statement saying that he had no intention of resigning from his post until the Senate appointed his replacement and that he was going to continue his work in current investigations. 

Earlier on Saturday, U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr wrote a letter to Berman noting that he asked President Trump to officially fire him from his post in the Southern District of New York. 

A White House spokesperson told The Hill that Trump agreed to this request, but on Saturday Trump told reporters that he was “not involved” in Berman’s dismissal.

Nadler said the conflicting accounts suggest Barr might have gone over Trump.

“The whole thing smacks of corruption and incompetence, which is what we have come to expect from this President and his Attorney General,” Nadler said.

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