AG Bill Barr’s criminal firing of Geoffrey Berman, the NY Attorney for the Southern District of New York, over the weekend – wherein Barr said Trump authorized it and Trump said he had nothing to do with it, did not go as planned.
It appears the Trump cabal, via the infected DOJ, wanted Berman gone so they could give the job to Jay Clayton, Head of the SEC & Trump’s golfing buddy, someone with zero prosecutor experience. Berman, a republican who contributed to the Trump campaign and served on its transition team was hand-picked by the Trump crime syndicate.
So why fire him in such a rude and public way? Any number of reasons, none good or proper.
They initially offered him to be head of the civil division so it was not personal performance. Little doubt that Trump wanted Berman gone over his prosecution of Trump allies, including a current investigation rumored to be underway into Rudy Giuliani. However, the most likely actual reason is a case Berman mounted against the Turkish Bank Halkbank.
Apparently, Trump promised his strongman dictator pal in Turkey that he would make the case go away.
The Philadelphia Inquirer notes, “Former National Security Advisor John Bolton claims in his upcoming book that Trump promised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that the Halkbank “problem” would be “fixed” once “his people” controlled the Southern District.”
So when Geoffrey Berman initially refused to step down the mediation that followed resulted in the fact that he would not be replaced by Jay Clayton after all, or on an interim basis the New Jersey DA, but rather by his #2 at the Southern District, Audrey Strauss, a veteran SDNY prosecutor (you can read more about her here). Trading Berman for Strauss would seem to be no victory for the Trump cabal. And they currently have no friends in the Republican held Senate on the matter. Even Lindsey “Leningrad” Graham said there will be no quick confirmation of anyone NY Democratic leaders don’t approve of. Meanwhile, Democratic leaders have called for a Inspector General investigation into the whole sordid affair.
We have not heard the last of this. This is abuse of the rule of law by Bill Barr, the person charged with administering and protecting it.
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