Good morning. We have an active Constitutional crisis on our hands.
Another Trump Regime Friday Night Massacre, this time the Bill Barr Justice Department getting rid of Geoff Berman, the US Attorney looking into Rudy Giuliani's Ukraine criminality in the Southern District of New York.
AG Bill Barr announced Berman's resignation late Friday night.
Only one problem. The resignation was news to Berman.
The Justice Department on Friday abruptly tried to oust the United States attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey S. Berman, the powerful federal prosecutor whose office sent President Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to prison and who has been investigating Mr. Trump’s current personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani.
But Mr. Berman said in a statement that he was refusing to leave his position, setting up a crisis within the Justice Department over one of its most prestigious jobs.
“I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position,” Mr. Berman said, adding that he learned that he was “stepping down” in a press release from the Justice Department.
Attorney General William P. Barr’s announcement that President Trump was seeking to replace Mr. Berman was made with no notice. Mr. Barr said the president intended to nominate as Mr. Berman’s successor Jay Clayton, current chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Mr. Barr asked Mr. Berman to resign but he refused so Mr. Barr moved to fire him, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Trump had been discussing removing Mr. Berman for some time with a small group of advisers, the person said.
Mr. Berman has taken an aggressive approach in a number of cases that have vexed the Trump administration, from the prosecution and guilty pleas obtained from Mr. Cohen to a broader investigation, growing out of that inquiry, which focused on Mr. Trump’s private company and others close to him.
Over the last year, Mr. Berman’s office brought indictments against two close associates of the president’s current lawyer, Mr. Giuliani, and began an investigation into Mr. Giuliani himself, focusing on whether his efforts to dig up dirt in Ukraine on the president’s political rivals violated laws on lobbying for foreign entities.
Mr. Berman’s office also conducted an investigation into Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee, subpoenaing financial and other records as part of a broad inquiry into possible illegal contributions from foreigners.
Mr. Berman’s abrupt removal came just days after Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton, alleged in his new book that Mr. Trump sought to interfere in an investigation by Mr. Berman’s office into a Turkish bank, in a bid to cut deals with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Mr. Trump has been upset with Mr. Berman ever since the Manhattan prosecutor’s office pursued a case against Mr. Cohen, according to a person familiar with their relationship.
So, Berman was leading multiple active SDNY investigations into Trump regime criminality, the Giuliani's Ukraine/Burisma circus, the Trump inaugural committee foreign pay-for-play emoluments scam, and the Erdogan/Turkey Halkbank mess, the third one being widely confirmed now by John Bolton's Mustache's book.
The memoir was apparently the last straw. And remember, Berman was already placed as acting US Attorney by the courts because Trump fired US Attorney Preet Bharara after just three months and the Senate never confirmed a replacement.
Berman isn't leaving. In fact, he's all but accused Barr of obstruction of justice against the cases the SDNY is overseeing against the Trump regime and their cronies.
We have that full Constitutional crisis, fully-formed, right now.