Berman to leave SDNY immediately 

Manhattan U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman announced Saturday evening that he will be leaving his post with the Southern District of New York (SDNY) "effective immediately" after U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr said he had requested his official firing from President TrumpDonald John TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address MORE.  

 “In light of Attorney General Barr’s decision to respect the normal operation of law and have Deputy U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss become Acting U.S. Attorney, I will be leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, effective immediately,” Berman said in a statement Saturday.

The Justice Department announced late Friday that it would replace Berman and that Berman had "stepped down."

ADVERTISEMENT

Later that night, Berman said that he had no intention of resigning from his post. 

On Saturday, Barr sent Berman a letter notifying him that President Trump had agreed to fire him, saying he had “chosen public spectacle over public service.”

"Because you have declared that you have no intention of resigning, I have asked the President to remove you as of today, and he has done so,” Barr wrote.

It was not initially clear if Berman will challenge his ouster in court.

The Trump administration plans to nominate Jay Clayton, the current chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to permanently fill the position. 

Barr wrote in the letter that Berman’s deputy, Audrey Strauss, will assume his position.

ADVERTISEMENT

In his resignation statement, Berman said  “I could leave the District in no better hands than Audrey’s.”

“She is the smartest, most principled, and effective lawyer with whom I have ever had the privilege of working,” Berman wrote.”And I know that under her leadership, this Office’s unparalleled AUSAs, investigators, paralegals, and staff will continue to safeguard the Southern District’s enduring tradition of integrity and independence.”

Berman has led several investigations into president Trump’s associates, including his current and former attorneys, Rudy Guliani and 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.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerNadler wins Democratic primary Voters must strongly reject the president's abuses by voting him out this November Clyburn threatens to end in-person coronavirus committee hearings if Republicans won't wear masks MORE (D-N.Y.) announced on Saturday that the committee will launch an immediate investigation into Berman's dismissal, accusing the administration of politicizing the justice system.