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 BhararaPreet BhararaWhy Trump (probably) won't be indicted New York Times in discussions to acquire The Athletic: report Vox Media acquires podcasting company co-founded by Preet Bharara MORE in a Saturday tweet described the ouster of Geoffrey Berman, who took the post after Bharara was fired, as “deja vu.”


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 CohenMichael Wolff and the art of monetizing gossip Why the Trump Organization indictment may be far less consequential than the media think Michael Cohen: Weisselberg indictment 'the tip of the iceberg' MORE and his current attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiDOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit Bob Dole: 'I'm a Trumper' but 'I'm sort of Trumped out' Ex-Trump adviser Barrack charged with secretly lobbying for UAE 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 BarrHighest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote Native Americans are targets of voter suppression too Want to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump 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. 


"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 Schumer84 mayors call for immigration to be included in reconciliation Senate infrastructure talks on shaky grounds Could Andrew Cuomo — despite scandals — be re-elected because of Trump? 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 TrumpRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-backed candidate in Texas House runoff DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit MORE? A previous action by this U.S. Attorney or one that is ongoing?”