Impeach Bill Barr: 135 Former Prosecutors Demand, “Take All Appropriate Action” To End Political Interference
U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr told the United States that Geoffrey Berman, federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, was resigning. Berman said he wasn’t. Barr announced that he’d told President Donald Trump to fire Berman, and he had complied. Trump said he had nothing to do with any of it. Berman’s office has been investigating alleged crimes by and connected to Trump and others in his camp. Now, 135 former Manhattan prosecutors have signed a letter saying that Barr’s behavior is a political act, intended to politicize an office that is intended to be nonpartisan, and they’re demanding action.
According to Alternet, 135 former Manhattan prosecutors signed a letter saying that this type of interference can’t be allowed.
The actions of the President and the Attorney General are an attack on the concept that investigations should be conducted in a nonpartisan manner. They are politicizing an office that for more than 200 years has remained apolitical, and are undermining confidence in our criminal justice system. We call on our elected officials – Republicans and Democrats alike – to take all appropriate action to protect the administration of justice in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere from this kind of political interference.
Elected officials are indeed promising action.
Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) tweeted to assure constituents that the House Judiciary Committee will be investigating. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) also tweeted to say that the situation requires investigation.
Bill Barr will not investigate himself. But we on @HouseJudiciary can and will investigate him.
The spectacle he created in firing US Attorney Berman is part of a broader pattern of apparently corrupt behavior where Barr has intervened to protect @realDonaldTrump & his friends. https://t.co/G7qcukbIl9
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) June 20, 2020
Donald Trump is a liar.
Bill Barr is a liar.
There’s not a single word either man says that we can trust.
We must get to the bottom of this. https://t.co/p3qn1xizh5
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 20, 2020
The whole series of events took place in a brief period of time over the weekend. According to BBC, Geoff Berman said that he learned of his own resignation when Bill Barr issued a memo saying that Berman was stepping down. He resisted, saying that he would not be going anywhere. Later Friday, ABC News reported that Barr had issued a new statement, in which he said he had asked the president to remove Berman from his post, and Trump had done so. Trump then said he was not involved. Finally, by close of day Friday, Berman had agreed to resign on the condition that his replacement be handled in the prescribed manner — that is, he would be replaced by Deputy U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss until a new appointee could be placed properly, rather than allow Barr to put his pick in place immediately.
The SDNY is currently investigating conduct by Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and has also been probing the Jeffrey Epstein case.