Updated: 6/20/2020 4:24 p.m. EDT: Attorney General William Barr said in a letter on Saturday that the President has terminated Geoffrey Berman’s post as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
“Because you have declared that you have no intention of resigning, I have asked the President to remove you as of today, and he has done so,” Barr wrote to Berman, according to a report from NPR.
It is not clear how Berman will respond to the move by the Administration.
Barr announced on Friday that the president is nominating Jay Cayton, a former SEC chairman, to the U.S. Attorney position in New York held by Berman.
But Berman responded to the administration’s announcement on Friday night by saying he hadn’t been aware he was “stepping down” from his position until he saw the press release from Barr, reported NBC News.
“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, firing shots at the Trump Administration and its authority to remove him.
“I will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate. Until then, our investigations will move forward without delay or interruption,” he added.
According to NBC News, Berman’s office has led investigations into the president’s former cronies—including Michael Cohen, the disgraced lawyer who testified to carrying out “dirty deeds” for Trump. The relationship between Rudy Giuliani—another of the President’s lawyers—and Ukrainian businessmen Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman was also being scrutinized by Berman for violation of federal campaign finance laws.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler responded to Berman’s press release by inviting him to testify in front of the body next Wednesday, adding that the committee is investigating Attorney General Barr’s interventions in criminal matters involving the President.
Correction: 6/20/2020 1:48 p.m. EDT: A previous version of this story incorrectly referred to Geoffrey Berman as the Manhattan Attorney General. This has been corrected.