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House Judiciary Committee Releases Transcript of Interview with Former SDNY Prosecutor Geoffrey Berman

“Today, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) released a transcript of the Committee’s July 9th interview with Geoffrey Berman, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY). Chairman Nadler issued the following statement on the release of the transcript: “While Mr. Berman was U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, his office announced multiple investigations that implicated President Trump, including the prosecution of the President’s longtime legal fixer Michael Cohen. We know from public reporting that the Office may also have been investigating the President’s inaugural committee and his current counsel, Rudy Giuliani. Had Mr. Berman not been removed, he would have had final decision-making authority over whether to investigate the President leading up to the 2020 elections, as well. When he appeared before the Committee last week, Mr. Berman could not comment on these cases—but he was adamant that Attorney General Barr’s scheme to force him out of office and replace him with an outsider raised serious concerns for him, and was designed to disrupt and delay the work of the office—including those implicating the President…”

See also Law.comBerman Describes Pressure From Barr, Planned Legal Challenge to House Judiciary Committee – The “interests of the Office” were Berman’s sole concern throughout his tumultuous exit, he said, and he was planning a legal challenge to his ouster before Attorney General William Barr abruptly changed course. In the opening statement, which was shared with media outlets, Berman said that on June 18, he received an email saying that Barr wanted to meet with him at the Pierre Hotel the next day. During the 45-minute meeting on June 19, Barr asked Berman to resign his job and take on a role as assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice’s civil division, so that U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton could be nominated as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Berman told the committee. Berman said he told Barr that he loved his job and asked if Barr was dissatisfied with his performance. “He said that he was not at all dissatisfied,” Berman said, according to the text of the opening statement. “He said the move was solely prompted by Jay Clayton’s desire to move back to New York and the Administration’s desire to keep him on the team. I told the Attorney General that I knew and liked Jay Clayton but he was an unqualified choice for U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York because he was never an [assistant U.S. attorney] and had no criminal experience.”…

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