Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is “sure” to testify before Congress about his exit from the Trump administration, according to House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler. Nicholas Reimann of Forbes reported on Sunday that Nadler wants Berman to talk about the contradicting stories that came out over the weekend about whether or not he was fired or had resigned.
Nadler set a hearing for Wednesday in order to look into the purging of Berman. On Saturday, he said at least two members of the U.S. Attorneys office will testify. According to Reimann, the chairman was asked on CNN’s State of the Union whether the list of witnesses might not include Berman. Nadler responded he wasn’t sure it would be that soon.
“I don’t know about Wednesday, but I’m sure he will testify,” Nadler said
Nadler, and other House Democrats, believe the attorney was pushed out because he was investigating several people that were close to the president. Those people included former Trump attorney Michael Cohen and longtime campaign operative Roger Stone.
On Friday, Attorney General William Barr announced Berman had stepped down. Berman then issued a release saying he had, in fact, not left his job. On Saturday, Barr claimed President Trump had fired Berman, but Trump said he wasn’t involved in the situation.
The back and forth led to a late Saturday night announcement that Berman had finally stepped down. Reports circulated soon after the official statement saying he had only done so because Barr agreed to appoint Berman’s deputy in his place.
It is the proclamations by Barr that the U.S. Attorney had first stepped down, then been fired, that Nadler pointed to as something the House Judiciary Committee should investigate. Nadler said over the weekend that he doesn’t trust Barr and believes Berman being pushed out has an ulterior motive.
Nadler said the investigation into just what happened in the Southern District of New York is part of the committee’s larger investigation into Barr. The chairman has said he believes the attorney general has politicized the office in a way his predecessors never did.
The resignation of Berman is going to be part of that investigation, according to Nadler, because of the cases he was overseeing when the effort to remove him began.
Wednesday’s hearing will feature two whistleblowers who Democrats have said back up their claims of improper behavior by the Justice Department under Trump. The recency of Berman’s removal is one reason why Nadler doesn’t believe he’ll appear at the hearing.