•   
  •   
  •   

Politics Barr, Berman at Odds Over Letter Criticizing de Blasio

20:06  22 june  2020
20:06  22 june  2020 Source:   online.wsj.com

United States: Prosecutor Investigating Trump's Relatives Refuses To Resign

 United States: Prosecutor Investigating Trump's Relatives Refuses To Resign Geoffrey Berman, Prosecutor Since 2018 In The Powerful South District Of New York, In particular Supervised The Indictment Of Michael Cohen, Former Trump Lawyer . © AFP New York district attorney Geoffrey Berman. Donald Trump and justice do not mix . A US prosecutor who investigated relatives of the President said Friday that he had no intention of resigning after the Minister of Justice announced his departure.

a man wearing a suit and tie © johannes eisele/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

The day before Attorney General William Barr abruptly announced plans to replace Geoffrey Berman as the Manhattan U.S. Attorney, supervisors in Mr. Barr’s Justice Department asked Mr. Berman to sign a letter criticizing New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for the city’s enforcement of social-distancing rules to block religious gatherings but not recent street protests, people familiar with the matter said.

Mr. Berman refused to sign the letter Thursday, after engaging in a brief back-and-forth drafting process, the people said. Mr. Berman voiced strong objections to the letter, particularly its assertions that Mr. de Blasio imposed a double standard, and described the letter as a political stunt that would strain relations between his office and the city, two of the people said.

Graham signals he won't take up U.S. attorney pick without Schumer, Gillibrand sign off

  Graham signals he won't take up U.S. attorney pick without Schumer, Gillibrand sign off Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) signaled on Saturday that he will not move forward with a nomination for the U.S. attorney for Manhattan without sign off from two Democratic senators. © Bonnie Cash Graham signals he won't take up U.S. attorney pick without Schumer, Gillibrand sign off Graham said he would wait to receive a "blue slip" - a sheet of paper that indicates if a home-state senator supports a nomination - before moving forward with a new nominee to be the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

The letter, which was meant to be signed by the head of the Justice Department’s civil-rights division, Eric Dreiband, and Mr. Berman, was never sent, according to the people.

It isn’t known what role, if any, the letter played in the subsequent standoff between Messrs. Barr and Berman that began on Friday night and ended about 18-hours later with Mr. Berman stepping aside from the powerful Manhattan federal prosecutor’s office after President Trump fired him.

Mr. Barr didn’t have a direct role in discussions with Mr. Berman over the letter, the people said.

Justice Department officials and Mr. Barr’s associates have repeatedly said that no single incident prompted Mr. Berman’s removal from the office, which in recent years has led investigations into some of Mr. Trump’s closest allies.

Biden campaign says firing US attorney for New York raises 'extraordinary concerns'

  Biden campaign says firing US attorney for New York raises 'extraordinary concerns' Trump had been privately pushing for Berman's ouster, sources tell ABC."Last night's news raises yet more fundamental questions about the rule of law in the Trump Administration, and heightens extraordinary concerns about an attorney general who seems to subvert his duty to seek impartial justice in order to further the political interests of the president," Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director Kate Bedingfield said in a statement to ABC News.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment. A spokesman for the Manhattan U.S. Attorney declined to comment. A spokesman for Mr. Dreiband didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

But two people familiar with the matter said Mr. Berman’s refusal aggravated Mr. Barr, who already viewed Mr. Berman as obstinate and difficult to work with. He had been seeking a replacement for Mr. Berman, and when he learned in recent weeks that Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton was interested in the top prosecutor’s job he agreed that putting him in that role was a good idea, people familiar with that decision said.

Mr. Berman and Mr. Barr met in New York Friday afternoon, and it couldn’t be determined if the letter was raised. Mr. Barr, who was in New York to talk with local police and other law-enforcement officials, offered Mr. Berman jobs taking Mr. Clayton’s place at the helm of the SEC or leading the Justice Department’s civil division, Mr. Barr has said.

Jerry Nadler says Attorney General William Barr deserves to be impeached but it would be a 'waste of time'

  Jerry Nadler says Attorney General William Barr deserves to be impeached but it would be a 'waste of time' House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said Sunday that he believes Attorney General William Barr deserves to be impeached, but that pursuing it would be a "waste of time" because of the Republican-controlled Senate. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Nadler, a New York Democrat, told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" that House Democrats would instead work to withhold $50 million from the Department of Justice in an effort to punish Barr.

Later Friday, Mr. Barr tried to reach Mr. Berman on his cellphone, people familiar with the matter said. Then, shortly after 9 p.m., Mr. Barr put out a press release saying Mr. Berman had stepped down and laying out plans for his replacement. The news surprised Mr. Berman, who refused to leave until Mr. Barr sent him a letter Saturday telling him the president had fired him and calling his refusal to leave a “public spectacle.” Mr. Barr installed Mr. Berman’s deputy in his place, pending Mr. Clayton’s confirmation.

The proposed letter to Mr. de Blasio came from the office of Mr. Dreiband, assistant U.S. Attorney for the Justice Department’s civil-rights division. The letter criticized Mr. de Blasio for a perceived double standard in the enforcement of social-distancing rules, to the detriment of religious groups. Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, had come out strongly against large religious gatherings—including Orthodox Jewish funerals—during the city’s coronavirus lockdown earlier this spring, but subsequently allowed protests against police violence across the city.

The issue is a priority for Mr. Barr, a devout Catholic, who has urged the Justice Department to support groups who argue state and local coronavirus restrictions violate their civil rights, namely their right to worship. Under his leadership the civil-rights division has inserted itself into several lawsuits on behalf of churches and religious groups, and Mr. Barr himself has publicly railed against policies he says favor secular gatherings.

Mr. de Blasio’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Write to Sadie Gurman at sadie.gurman@wsj.com and Rebecca Davis O’Brien at Rebecca.OBrien@wsj.com

Trump's new pick for SDNY to testify after controversial ouster .
Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, will testify at a hearing entitled Capital Markets and Emergency Lending in the COVID-19 Era.Clayton, the current chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, is slated to testify at a hearing entitled Capital Markets and Emergency Lending in the COVID-19 Era, although House Financial Services Committee Democrats are expected to grill him on his expected nomination.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
usr: 11
This is interesting!