Trump news live: Latest updates as Tulsa rally to go ahead despite coronavirus fears

Trump news live: Latest updates as Tulsa rally to go ahead despite coronavirus fears


Trump news live: Latest updates as Tulsa rally to go ahead despite coronavirus fears

Trump news live: Latest updates as Tulsa rally to go ahead despite coronavirus fears

Trump news live: Latest updates as Tulsa rally to go ahead despite coronavirus fears 1

US attorney investigating Trump allies denies resigning after William Barr announces dismissal
 

Trump’s attorney general William Barr finds himself in an embarrassing position this morning after the US Justice Department moved to oust a US official in Manhattan overseeing key prosecutions of the president’s allies and an investigation of his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, only for the attorney in question to refuse to budge.
 

Geoffrey Berman said he was refusing to leave his post as US attorney for the Southern District of New York and that his ongoing investigations would continue.
 

“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. I will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate,” Berman said in an extraordinary statement. “Until then, our investigations will move forward without delay or interruption.”

The stand-off set off an amazing clash between the Justice Department and one of the nation’s top districts, which has tried major mob and terror cases over the years.
 

It is also likely to deepen tensions between the Justice Department and congressional Democrats who have accused Barr of politicising the agency and acting more like Trump’s personal lawyer than the nation’s chief law enforcement officer.
 

The move to oust Berman also comes days after allegations surfaced from former Trump national security adviser John Bolton that the president sought to interfere in a Southern District of New York investigation into the state-owned Turkish bank in an effort to cut deals with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
 

Barr offered no explanation for why he was pushing out Berman in the statement he issued late on Friday.

The White House quickly announced that Trump was nominating the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission to the job, a lawyer with virtually no experience as a federal prosecutor.

Hours later, Berman issued his own statement saying he had learned that he was being pushed out through a press release.
 

He vowed to stay on the job until a Trump nominee is confirmed by the Senate, challenging Barr’s power to remove him from office because he was appointed to the job by federal judges, not by the president.
 

Under federal law, a US attorney who is appointed by district court judges can serve “until the vacancy is filled”.
 

A senior Justice Department official said the department was pressing forward with its plans and will have Craig Carpenito, the US attorney in New Jersey, take over the office temporarily, starting on 3 July.
 

Democrats have repeatedly accused Trump’s Justice Department of political interference and those concerns have also been pervasive among some rank and file officials in the agency. House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler said his committee was inviting Berman to testify next week.
 

Federal prosecutors in New York have overseen numerous prosecutions and investigations with ties to Trump in recent years.
 

That includes an ongoing investigation into Giuliani’s business dealings, including whether he failed to register as a foreign agent, according to people familiar with the probe.
 

The office has also prosecuted a number of Trump associates, including his former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who served a prison sentence for lying to Congress and campaign finance crimes.
 

Berman has also overseen the prosecution of two Florida businessmen, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who were associates of Giuliani and tied to the Ukraine impeachment investigation. The men were charged in October with federal campaign finance violations, including hiding the origin of a $325,000 (£263,000) donation to a group supporting Trump’s re-election.


Source link

Check Also

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn has been embroiled in a legal battle with the Justice Department and a federal judge for nearly three years.

Michael Flynn: What crimes did disgraced Trump aide admit to

Michael Flynn: What crimes did disgraced Trump aide admit to Michael Flynn: What crimes did …