The US Attorney for the powerful Southern District of New York did not resign and is not “stepping down.” Attorney General Bill Barr declared in a late Friday night press release that Geoffrey Berman “is stepping down after two-and-a-half years of service.”
That was a false claim.
Katherine Faulders, an investigative reporter covering the White House and Capitol Hill for ABC News reports Berman was “fired.”
US Atty for SDNY Geoffrey Berman was fired. The news came as a shock tonight. Sources close to him & DOJ official say AG Barr offered him other positions including head of Civil Division at main justice and Berman declined. News via me @alex_mallin & @AaronKatersky
— Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) June 20, 2020
Berman says not only did he not resign, he learned of Barr’s intentions only after the press release had been published. And he says he has no intention of resigning – he will stay in his job until the Sensate confirms his replacement.
“I learned in a press release from the Attorney General tonight that I was ‘stepping down’ as United States Attorney,” Berman said in a statement, ABC News reports. “I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position, to which I was appointed by the Judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. I will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate.”
“Until then, our investigations will move forward without delay or interruption,” he continued. “I cherish every day that I work with the men and women of this Office to pursue justice without fear or favor – and intend to ensure that this Office’s important cases continue unimpeded.”
Former SDNY prosecutor Mimi Rocah says Barr “lied.”
Barr lied in writing about firing a US Attorney.
— Mimi Rocah (@Mimirocah1) June 20, 2020
The New York Times adds the stand off sets “up a crisis within the Justice Department over one of its most prestigious jobs.”
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White House Turmoil as Mnuchin and Navarro Got in ‘Knockdown, Drag-Out’ Yelling Match – as Trump Sat and Watched: Report
According to a report from the Washington Post, a discussion in the Oval Office over social media platform TikTok collapsed into a shouting match between Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and trade advisor Peter Navarro while Donald Trump sat and watched.
One spectator described it as “knockdown, drag-out” brawl.
The Post reports Mnuchin was under the understanding that he had convinced Trump to allow a sale of TikTok to Microsoft, only to run into a roadblock put up by Navarro arguing for a total ban.
During the discussion, Navarro reportedly accused Mnuchin of being soft on China and the two were described as getting into screaming match with each other in front of the president.
The Post adds the confrontation “was preceded by months of backroom dealings among investors, lobbyists and executives. Many of these stakeholders long understood the critical nature of establishing close connections with key figures in the Trump administration,” before adding, Trump signed an executive order Thursday ordering a shut down of TikTok’s U.S. operations if a divestiture did not occur by September.
You can read more here.
Barr Refuses to Agree Federal Law Does Not Allow the President to Change the Date of the Election: ‘Haven’t Looked Into That’
Attorney General Bill Barr is refusing to agree the President does not have the right to change the date of an election. Asked the question during his sworn congressional testimony on Tuesday Barr said he had not done any research into the matter.
Asked by Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) if “a sitting U.S. president move an election date,” Attorney General Barr replied, “I haven’t looked into that question under the Constitution.”
When provided with the exact statute, Barr refused to say that a sitting president cannot change the date of an election.
“I’ve never been asked that question,” Barr obfuscated.
“I’ve never looked into it,” he repeated.
Earlier this year senior advisor to the president Jared Kushner announced the White House could not commit to holding to federal law which mandates Election Day as “the Tuesday next after the first Monday in the month of November.”
“I’m not sure I can commit one way or the other,” to holding the Election as the law decrees, Kushner declared in March, “but right now that’s the plan.”
Only Congress can change the date of the election, something Barr and Kushner should “look into.”
‘They Got Caught’: Cuomo Levies Serious Charges Against Top Trump DHS Officials – ‘Politically Motivated, Illegal Attack’
“Clear abuse of government power for political purposes”
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is making serious accusations against the top two officials in President Donald Trump’s Dept. of Homeland Security: engaging in a “politically motivated, illegal attack,” which, he says means “possible criminal liability.”
In a Thursday federal court filing Homeland Security admitted officials made false statements in order to terminate New York State’s participation in the Trusted Traveler program, which allows pre-screening of certain flyers to speed airport travel access.
Gov. Cuomo, who was the Attorney General of New York before being elected governor, slammed acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli, whose official title is Senior Official Performing the Duties of the United States Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security.
“The truth has a way of coming out,” Cuomo also tweeted. “The federal gov’t gave patently false reasons for banning New Yorkers from the Trusted Traveler Program. From the start, it was a politically motivated, illegal attack on New York.”
“They got caught,” Cuomo also charged during his Friday morning press briefing.
“I believe Mr. Wolf and Mr. Cuccinelli have possible criminal liability. I believe there is civil liability,” he said, as CNBC reports. “It was a clear abuse of government power for political purposes.”
Video: Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that DHS leaders Chad Wolf, Ken Cuccinelli violated their oath of office and should be charged: “I believe Mr. Wolf and Mr. Cuccinelli have possible criminal liability.”
— Mike Walker (@New_Narrative) July 24, 2020
Cuomo is calling for Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate, and announced the State of New York will seek civil damages.
New York Times investigative reporter Eric Lipton called Thursday’s court filing an “Extraordinary admission.”
Extraordinary admission by DHS in this court filing today that Trump admin mislead the public, NYS & federal court in allegations Trump admin raised to justify terminating NYS access to Trusted Traveler program, which makes getting through airports faster. pic.twitter.com/6hgzKKnvSc
— Eric Lipton (@EricLiptonNYT) July 24, 2020
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