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U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman’s Ouster: The Untold Story

Courtesy of Pam Martens

A Stake in the Park Lane Hotel in Manhattan Was Purchased With Money Looted from 1MDB According to the U.S. Justice Department

A Stake in the Park Lane Hotel in Manhattan Was Purchased With Money Looted from 1MDB According to the U.S. Justice Department (Photo Source: DOJ)

There’s something unsettling about the top law enforcement officer in the United States telling a brazen lie to the American people late on a Friday night when most folks have called it quits for the week on the news. Shortly after 9 p.m. last Friday evening, the U.S. Attorney General, William Barr, released a statement indicating that the top federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, was “stepping down.” In his place, Barr said this: “I am pleased to announce that President Trump intends to nominate Jay Clayton, currently the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to serve as the next United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.”

Two hours later, Geoffrey Berman released his own statement indicating that William Barr had just told a brazen lie to the American people. Berman’s statement was this: “I learned in a press release from the Attorney General tonight that I was ‘stepping down’ as United States Attorney.  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.”

On Saturday, Barr issued another statement indicating that President Trump was removing Berman from his post but would leave Berman’s Deputy in charge of the office on an interim basis. Barr had stated on Friday evening that he would be putting in Craig Carpenito, the sitting U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, as acting head of the office until Clayton’s confirmation hearing. The acknowledgement by Barr that Berman’s Deputy would fill the post until a confirmation occurred appeased Berman and he agreed to step down.

Both the White House and media outlets have confirmed that Clayton asked for the job as U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York and that the President discussed the job with him and ultimately agreed to oust Berman in order to install Clayton. Thus the overarching question of why Clayton wanted this job so badly should be the focus of the growing investigations in Washington, as well as what criminal investigations Barr and the President may have wanted to snuff out in the Southern District of New York.

Clayton deserves all of the negative attention that is currently swirling about him. He was the source of upheaval in Geoffrey Berman’s life and career. He has fueled further shame and distrust on the Justice Department by suggesting that a golfing pal of the President can simply ask a favor and get a powerful law enforcement position. Clayton has never served a day as a prosecutor at a state or federal level.

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  1. It’s just more corruption at the highest level of government. Our system is unfortunately broken.


  2. tpsquest: This particular example of Barr and Trump's brazen criminality would be shocking, except it's Barr and Trump again, and they keep getting away with their corruption. That's it's become just another day of the Trump admin. is so upsetting! ~ Ilene