AG Barr, moves to oust U.S. Attorney who investigated Trump associates

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman
Source: U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY)

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Attorney General William Barr is seeking to oust Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) who supervised cases and investigations against President Donald Trump’s associates.

In a press release on Friday night, Barr said Trump currently “intends to nominate Jay Clayton” to replace Berman. Clayton is the current Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Barr explained that Clayton’s management experience and expertise in financial regulation give him an “ideal background” to serve as the next U.S. Attorney for the SDNY.

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The Attorney General also stated that he recommended Craig Carpentino to serve as Acting U.S. Attorney for the SDNY while the Senate is considering Clayton’s nomination. Carpentino is the current U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey.

The decision to push out Berman comes after Trump’s former National Security Adviser John Bolton alleged in his book that the President attempted to interfere in Berman’s investigation into a Turkish bank, in an effort to cut deals with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Berman refuses to step down as U.S. Attorney for SDNY

In a separate statement, Berman said he will not vacate his position until the Senate confirms a nominee appointed by the President.