It was rumored that Steve Bannon might return to the cast of The Apprentice: Presidential Edition in some capacity in the campaign, but it looks like he’s going to have his hands full outwitting the feds, instead. Bannon was arrested in New York Thursday on charges of stealing money from the “We Build The Wall” […]
This has turned into a dog fight. William Barr has decided to play rough and he exercised the option to have Trump fire Geoffrey Berman, which Trump has done. NOW: AG Barr says in a letter to Manhattan US Attorney Geoffrey Berman that Trump has now officially fired him, and that's that, rejecting any argument by Berman that a judicial appointment means he can't be removed. Previously: https://t.co/3Kil8GKQQv pic.twitter.com/y1fkXsAFDC — Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) June 20, 2020 Some context from the New York Times. Mr. Barr asked Mr. Berman to resign, but he refused, so Mr. Barr moved to fire him, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Trump had been discussing removing Mr. Berman for some time with a small group of advisers, the person said. Mr. Trump has been upset with Mr. Berman ever since the Manhattan prosecutor’s office pursued a case against Mr. Cohen. At some point during their conversation, Mr. Barr suggested to Mr. Berman that he might take over the civil division of the Justice Department if he agreed to leave the position in Manhattan, according to a person familiar with the conversation. Mr. Barr’s attempt to fire Mr. Berman had received unexpected pushback from Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and a close Trump ally. Mr. Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee — which would approve Mr. Clayton’s nomination — suggested in a statement that he would allow New York’s two Democratic senators to thwart the nomination through a procedural maneuver. I’m not sure what the “procedural maneuver” is. I had read previously that Graham said he would take blue slips from the two New York senators, a blue slip being an opinion on a nominee, favorable or unfavorable, but I scarcely see that as “thwarting” what’s been done. Of all the corruption in government right now, this is the most singular act of the moment. Conservative writer Jennifer Rubin calls it “gobsmacking.” There will be plenty more pieces as this latest debacle unfolds, in the same real time that Trump resumes his MAGA rallies.
Stupid is as stupid does Mama Gump Lord, I am weary. These walking ass gaskets have been at this for 3 1/2 years now, and Tubby the Ewok has been the Attorney General for two of those. How can a bunch of cheap thugs in shiny suits still be so abysmally incompetent at hiding even the most obvious beginnings of their attempted criminal enterprises. I guess His Lowness couldn’t find a handy cabinet level Inspector General to shitcan in a Friday News Dump, so had to settle for a US Attorney instead. But once again arrogance and plain stupidity managed to trump even a modicum of common sense. Here’s the quick down and dirty. At about 9:30 EDT last night, Bill Barr released a press dump stating that the US Attorney of the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, had stepped down from his post. Barr went through the usual nose flute nonsense of thanking Berman for his service, and wishing him well in his future endeavors. The problem seems to be that nobody bothered to tell Geoff Berman that he was stepping down. Within the hour, Berman took the highly unusual step of releasing a statement of his own, making clear that he was highly pissed off to learn of his termination from a news report, sound familiar James Comey?, and that he wasn’t going anywhere. He made it crystal clear that there were several sensitive investigations that the SDNY was in critical parts of, and he had no intention of abandoning them. Gee, ya think? He can’t mean that petty shit like possible money laundering by the Trump organization, other possible malfeasance by the same group, and a criminal investigation into Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Ghouliani? Any kid fresh out of law school, and awaiting his bar results could sail through that stuff. While announcing Berman’s replacement, Barr confounded common sense by announcing that he was appointing the US Attorney for New Jersey to oversee the office for a period of six months. Howcomewhaforwhy? That job should fall to the Assistant US Attorney for the SDNY. Maybe because the Jersey US Attorney is a Trump and Barr flunky, who is already involved in the Trump witch hunt into the origins of the Mueller investigation? Once again, Barr has tried to use a nutcracker in a situation where a sledge hammer would have done fine. All Barr had to do was to come out and say that Berman had lost the confidence of the President, and was being replaced. Instead he tried to use intimidation to keep Berman quiet, and to submit meekly to the powers that be, which obviously Berman had no intention of doing. Apparently neither Barr nor Trump remembers the name Preet Bahrara. But at least I get the logic for that one. If Trump and Barr are able to get Berman to step down voluntarily, albeit it under pressure, then it makes it easier for them to make all kinds of claims of executive privilege to try to prevent Berman from testifying to congress if called. After all, they already fired James Comey by media, and dumped Michael Cohen into the shark tank with steaks tied to him, and they saw how well that turned out. Why risk firing Berman, and have his outrage drive him directly into the witness chair at a House committee hearing. […]
The facts are sketchy at this point, but SDNY U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman was in fact fired Friday night, according to ABC News. US Atty for SDNY Geoffrey Berman was fired. The news came as a shock tonight. Sources close to him & DOJ official say AG Barr offered him other positions including head of Civil Division at main justice and Berman declined. News via me @alex_mallin & @AaronKatersky — Katherine Faulders (@KFaulders) June 20, 2020 The knee jerk reaction to this is that Trump is desperately trying to get control of SDNY because of the threat it poses to him. They’re already preparing for the likelihood that they lose the election — nbabeau (@NBABeau) June 20, 2020 ???? Trump directing his henchmen to pull strings and chop heads in an effort to prevent @SDNYnews from arresting him the minute he loses re-electionWE CANNOT LET THIS HAPPEN WITHOUT PROTEST#StandUpFightBack — Unabashed Misfit (@UnabashedMisfit) June 20, 2020 America is right to expect the worst of Bill Barr, who has repeatedly interfered in criminal investigations on Trump’s behalf. We have a hearing on this topic on Wednesday. We welcome Mr. Berman’s testimony and will invite him to testify. https://t.co/SpVYzLhANR — Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) June 20, 2020 This is another one of those stories “moving faster than a hummingbird’s wings” as Dan Rather once put it. Woo. This is breathtaking. I thought John Mitchell was something back in the day. Bill Barr leaves him in the dust in the corruption department. But then I have to remind myself, there is no bottom in Trump world. Whenever you think it has been reached, a trap door opens and down you go again. As stated in the previous post, this is a developing story and we’ll be posting updates or new bulletins as more information becomes available.
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