Former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman's firing by Trump was announced Saturday by Attorney General William Barr.
- A group of 135 former New York prosecutors signed a letter on Sunday in defense of former US Attorney Geoffrey Berman.
- Berman was fired as the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York on Saturday by President Trump after Attorney General William Barr late Friday claimed Berman had resigned, which he disputed.
- Some have called for Barr's resignation — or even his impeachment, believing his actions were politically motivated as Berman's office has investigated allies of the president.
- "The impartial administration of Justice is what distinguishes the United States from authoritarian regimes around the world and is fundamental to our democracy," the former prosecutors said. "The President and the Attorney General have put this long and important tradition at risk."
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A group of more than one hundred former Manhattan prosecutors signed a letter on Sunday in support of former US Attorney Geoffrey Berman after his controversial firing by President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr on Saturday.
"The actions of the President and the Attorney General are an attack on the concept that investigations should be conducted in a nonpartisan manner," the former prosecutors wrote, according to a copy of the letter published by the Corporate Crime Reporter.
They added: "They are politicizing an office that for more than 200 years has remained apolitical, and are undermining confidence in our criminal justice system. We call on our elected officials – Republicans and Democrats alike – to take all appropriate action to protect the administration of justice in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere from this kind of political interference."
Late Friday, Barr announced that Berman, the US Attorney for the South District of New York, had resigned, though Berman responded and said he had not done so. On Saturday, Barr announced that the president ordered his firing — though Trump later said he wasn't involved with the decision. Berman agreed to step down on Saturday night.
The 135 former district attorneys and assistant district attorneys who signed the letter pointed toward a Republican-appointed district attorney who prosecuted members of former President Richard Nixon's cabinet and a Democratic-appointed prosecutor who prosecuted "one of the most powerful Democrats" in New York as examples of the impartial history of the SDNY prosecutor's office.
Berman's office was known for investigating the president's associates and interests, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer, as Business Insider previously reported.
"The impartial administration of Justice is what distinguishes the United States from authoritarian regimes around the world and is fundamental to our democracy," they said. "The President and the Attorney General have put this long and important tradition at risk."
As Business Insider reported, some Democrats have called on Barr to resign — or even to face impeachment — following the Trump administration's firing of Berman on Saturday, though Rep. Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Sunday that it would be a "waste of time" to impeach him because the Republican-controlled Senate was unlikely to remove him from office.
Nadler said the House Judiciary Committee is investigating Berman's firing as part of an ongoing investigation into Barr's conduct as attorney general. Nadler said two whistleblowers will speak to the committee on Wednesday, though he hasn't yet confirmed whether Berman will speak to the House.
"It's my hope that at some point the Judiciary Committee will hear from the former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York — Mr. Berman — because I think he has a lot to say about a continuing pattern of chaos, crisis, and corruption that we have seen from the Trump administration," Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat from New York who is also a member of the Judiciary Committee, said Sunday during an appearance on ABC News' This Week.
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