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 GillibrandMidterms will show voters are tired of taking back seat to Wall Street McConnell: I won't be intimidated by protesters Dem senator: Kavanaugh would 'turn back the clock' on women's health care MORE (D-N.Y.) plans to try and block President TrumpDonald John TrumpSasse: Trump shouldn't dignify Putin with Helsinki summit Top LGBT group projects message onto Presidential Palace in Helsinki ahead of Trump-Putin summit Hillary Clinton to Trump ahead of Putin summit: 'Do you know which team you play for?' 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.

ADVERTISEMENT
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 GrassleyKavanaugh paper chase heats up Kavanaugh gets questionnaires for confirmation hearing Franken offers Dems a line of questioning for Kavanaugh's 'weirdly specific bit of bulls---' 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 BhararaPossibility of Trump pardoning himself sparks GOP pushback Admission that Trump dictated statement on Trump Tower meeting raises new questions Bharara: Trump allies ‘clearly getting a message’ from pardons 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.