Former Manhattan attorney Preet Bharara on DOJ move: 'Deja vu'

Former Manhattan attorney Preet Bharara on DOJ move: 'Deja vu'
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Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District in New York Preet BhararaPreetinder (Preet) Singh BhararaPush to oust Manhattan attorney sparks fresh crisis for DOJ Former Manhattan attorney Preet Bharara on DOJ move: 'Deja vu' Democrats pan Trump, Barr over dismissal of US Attorney Geoffrey Berman MORE in a Saturday tweet described the ouster of Geoffrey Berman, who took the post after Bharara was fired, as “deja vu.”

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Bharara was responding to news the Justice Department would replace Berman, who is overseeing investigations into several Trump allies, including the president’s former lawyer Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenBarr to testify in House oversight hearing next month Stone received 'favorable treatment' because of relationship with Trump, former prosecutor will testify Nadler to subpoena AG Barr over Berman firing MORE and his current attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiOusted Manhattan US Attorney Berman to testify before House next week Sunday shows preview: With coronavirus cases surging, lawmakers and health officials weigh in Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill banning federal government use of facial recognition tech | House lawmakers roll out legislation to establish national cyber director | Top federal IT official to step down MORE.

The Justice Department announced in a Friday statement that Berman was "stepping down" from the post. 

“I thank Geoffrey Berman, who is stepping down after two-and-a-half years of service as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. With tenacity and savvy, Geoff has done an excellent job leading one of our nation’s most significant U.S. Attorney’s Offices, achieving many successes on consequential civil and criminal matters,” said Attorney General William BarrBill BarrOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Key impeachment witness retires | Duckworth presses for information | Subpanel advances defense measure | Democrats press for end to military transgender ban DOJ to resume executions next week for first time in 15 years Tim Scott says he's talking with House Democrats about reviving police reform bill MORE.

Berman, however, said that he had not stepped down and would refuse to leave the post until his successor was confirmed by the Senate. 

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"I learned in a press release from the Attorney General tonight that I was 'stepping down' as United States Attorney," the statement reads. "I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position ... I will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate. Until then, our investigations will move forward without delay or interruption." 

Barr provided no reason for replacing Berman, adding that he would nominated current Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Jay Clayton for the post.

Craig Carpenito, currently the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, will fill Berman’s role in an acting capacity effective July 3.

Bharara was removed from the office in 2017. Like Berman, he refused to resign, even though statements at the time from administration officials stated that he had done so. Bharara resufaced his 2017 tweet on Saturday, which was similar to Berman's. 

The moves to oust Berman was slammed by congressional Democrats, who accused Trump of trying to politicize the Justice Department and panned Berman’s ouster as a constitutional crisis. 

Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerChuck SchumerA renewed emphasis on research and development funding is needed from the government Data shows seven Senate Democrats have majority non-white staffs Trump may be DACA participants' best hope, but will Democrats play ball? MORE (D-N.Y.) suggested that Trump had Berman dismissed to protect himself from an ongoing probe, saying in a statement, “This late Friday night dismissal reeks of potential corruption of the legal process. What is angering President TrumpDonald John TrumpKimberly Guilfoyle reports being asymptomatic and 'feeling really pretty good' after COVID-19 diagnosis Biden says he will rejoin WHO on his first day in office Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad MORE? A previous action by this U.S. Attorney or one that is ongoing?”