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Gillibrand plans to stop Trump's pick for US attorney in New York

Gillibrand plans to stop Trump's pick for US attorney in New York
© Camille Fine

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandBritish health secretary fires back at Trump over universal health care claims Trump on Dems’ ‘universal' health-care push: ‘No thanks’ Gillibrand calls for DOJ to investigate US Olympic Committee over abuse scandal MORE (D-N.Y.) plans to try and block President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: 'We have a Napoleon in the making' MORE’s pick for U.S. attorney in New York’s southern district, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Gillibrand, a frequent and vocal critic of the president, will likely use her “blue-slip prerogative” to oppose the nomination of Geoffrey Berman. Senators from the home state of a nominee — in Berman’s case New York — are required to sign off on blue slips for a nominee to be considered. 

Gillibrand’s spokesman told The New York Times that the senator would block the nomination over concerns that Trump interviewed Berman for the post directly.

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Politico reported last October that Trump, who prior to the presidency lived in New York City, conducted interviews with Berman and Ed McNally for the U.S. attorney posts in the Southern District of New York and Eastern District of New York, respectively.

The interviews were considered abnormal and prompted concerns from Democratic senators that they amounted to political interference in the appointment process.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOvernight Cybersecurity: Tillerson proposes new cyber bureau at State | Senate bill would clarify cross-border data rules | Uber exec says 'no justification' for covering up breach Overnight Finance: Senators near two-year budget deal | Trump would 'love to see a shutdown' over immigration | Dow closes nearly 600 points higher after volatile day | Trade deficit at highest level since 2008 | Pawlenty leaving Wall Street group Grassley to Sessions: Policy for employees does not comply with the law MORE (R-Iowa) previously said he would do away with the blue-slip policy for a pair of judicial nominees, arguing that Democratic senators are not returning the slips in an effort to prevent hearings.

Grassley's office told The New York Times on Wednesday that Grassley would honor Gillibrand's blue-slip in this case.

Trump picked Berman to replace Preet BhararaPreetinder (Preet) Singh BhararaIn dueling memos, we are seeing President Trump in panic mode Red alert warning: Trump may fire Mueller soon Trump’s pick for NY prosecutor scrutinized MORE as the top prosecutor in southern New York. His appointment is subject to a confirmation hearing.

Berman served as a federal prosecutor in Manhattan from 1990 to 1994 and currently works as a partner at the Greenberg Traurig law firm, where former New York City Mayor and Trump ally Rudy Giuliani is listed as a shareholder.