In a closed-door session before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, the high-profile federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York said Attorney General Bill Barr pressured him to leave his post last month so the Trump Administration could install a candidate they preferred.
In an opening statement to the committee obtained by The Daily Beast, Geoffrey Berman said that during a June 18 meeting in New York with Barr, “the Attorney General said that if I did not resign from my position I would be fired,” said Berman. “He added that getting fired from my job would not be good for my resume or future job prospects. I told him that while I did not want to get fired, I would not resign.”
Berman testified that Barr offered him positions at the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division or even at the Securities and Exchange Commission, whose leader, Jay Clayton, was Barr’s preferred pick to take over the powerful SDNY post. “I asked the Attorney General why I was being asked to resign prior to a nominee being confirmed,” said Berman. “He said it was because the Administration wanted to get Jay Clayton into that position.”