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Somebody better wake up the shade of Machiavelli, or at the very least Richard Nixon, and get some input on the latest move in the palace intrigue of Bill Barr’s botched and bungled Friday Night Massacre. As of mid-afternoon Pacific Time here’s the latest, but not necessarily the last word.

Now this makes a lot of sense. I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that this was probably the burr under Barr’s saddle that caused his inopportune and unwise termination of Geoffrey Berman. Now here’s what Berman is doing to fight back.

Here’s the statement, that went out on Justice.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, June 20, 2020

Statement Of Geoffrey S. Berman

“In light of Attorney General Barr’s decision to respect the normal operation of law and have Deputy U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss become Acting U.S. Attorney, I will be leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, effective immediately.  It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve as this District’s U.S. Attorney and a custodian of its proud legacy, but I could leave the District in no better hands than Audrey’s.  She is the smartest, most principled, and effective lawyer with whom I have ever had the privilege of working.  And I know that under her leadership, this Office’s unparalleled AUSAs, investigators, paralegals, and staff will continue to safeguard the Southern District’s enduring tradition of integrity and independence.”

This is good. Berman’s colleague and right arm, Strauss, is now in charge and now all eyes are on SDNY. I think it’s safe to say that Bill Barr blew it.

Also, go back earlier in the day and you’ll see that Barr offered Berman a position in the Justice Department, which was some inducement for him to play ball and obviously that backfired, when Berman declined the new post and publicly said he wasn’t resigning. So Berman has made Barr look like a fool, and provoked Trump into telling a blatant lie on live television. Good day’s work. I applaud the man. And Barr is apparently figuring out this isn’t Iran Contra and Trump has no problem leaving him in the field. Good, all good.

 

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