The firing came aft the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York refused a request by Attorney General William Barr to resign Friday night.
Barr had offered Berman higher positions within the Justice Department but Berman declined and instead went public claiming he could not be removed from office until replaced by a Senate confirmed presidential nominee due to his appointment to the position by a federal court.
June 20 (UPI) — Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, who has overseen the prosecution of President Donald Trump and his associates, has denied Attorney General William Barr’s statement announcing his resignation.
Barr said in a statement Friday evening that Berman was “stepping down after two-and-a-half years of service as United States Attorney for New York.”
“With tenacity and savvy, Geoff has done an excellent job leading one of our nation’s most significant U.S. Attorney’s Offices, achieving many successes on consequential civil and criminal matters,” Barr’s statement continued. “I appreciate his service to the Department of Justice and our nation, and I wish him well in the future.”
Barr added that Trump nominated Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton to replace him. And while the Senate is considering Clayton’s nomination, Trump has appointed the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Craig Carpenito to temporarily fill the position.
However, Berman, who who has been investigating Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s role in efforts to dig up dirt on Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, in Ukraine, denied the position was vacant.
“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,” Berman said in a statement on Twitter. “I will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate.