The House Judiciary Committee, with Chairman Jerrold Nadler at the helm, has announced that they plan to “immediately open an investigation” into the Trump administration’s attempted firing of United States Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman, according to the Judiciary Committee chairman’s press release.
“The House Judiciary Committee will immediately open an investigation into this incident, as part of our broader investigation into Barr’s unacceptable politicization of the Department of Justice,” Nadler said in his statement.
The committee chairman pointed the finger at Attorney General Bill Barr, who reportedly gave conflicting reports about the attempted dismissal of Berman.
According to Nadler, Barr told him that Berman had resigned from his post, which was later found to be “untrue.” Barr then told Nadler that the president asked him to fire the United States attorney, which was also reportedly untrue, “given that the President says he had nothing to do with the decision.”
“The whole thing smacks of corruption and incompetence, which is what we have come to expect from this President and his Attorney General.”
Nadler then went on to say that neither the executive branch nor the Department of Justice have given him or his committee a sufficient explanation into the dismissal of Berman. The committee chair indicated that his suspicion was triggered, partially because the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has been involved in investigations into those close to Trump.
According to Nadler, the president had earlier indicated that he hoped to have “his own people” in the office that Berman would be vacating, which is, according to Nadler, “to help him with his personal and political needs.”
The New York congressman then took aim at Barr, saying that he has “time and time again… reached into ongoing investigations in order to protect the President from their consequences.” He went on to say that he believes the American people are outraged and that outrage is merited, due to Barr’s position as the chief law enforcement official in the United States.
Barr “cares very little about the law,” according to Nadler, and his committee will attempt to ascertain why Barr attempted to fire Berman.
The Judiciary Committee chairman said that they would hear from several whistleblowers who were expected to shed light on Barr’s actions.
Nadler’s statement could also offer some insight as to what might be in store for Berman, due to Nadler assuring the American people that if Berman is released, he will be asked to testify before Nadler’s committee.
“If the President removes Mr. Berman, then we will take additional steps to secure his testimony as well.”
NEW: Geoffrey Berman says he will step down from his post as U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York, effective immediately pic.twitter.com/7QIF9iycoF
— Bloomberg Law (@BLaw) June 20, 2020