More than 100 former Manhattan prosecutors condemn Berman firing

More than 100 former Manhattan prosecutors condemn Berman firing
© Getty

More than 100 former Manhattan prosecutors condemned the firing of former Southern District of New York (SDNY) U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in a Sunday letter.

At least 135 former U.S. attorneys and assistant U.S. attorneys signed an open letter saying they “deplore” 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 and 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’s firing of Berman “without cause,” according to a letter obtained by Corporate Crime Reporter

“The actions of the President and the Attorney General are an attack on the concept that investigations should be conducted in a nonpartisan manner,” the former prosecutors said. “They are politicizing an office that for more than 200 years has remained apolitical, and are undermining confidence in our criminal justice system.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“We call on our elected officials – Republicans and Democrats alike – to take all appropriate action to protect the administration of justice in the Southern District of New York and elsewhere from this kind of political interference,” the letter continued.  

The former prosecutors cite that the SDNY was the first federal attorney’s office and has “stood for the independence of the administration of Justice” for more than 200 years. 

“The impartial administration of Justice is what distinguishes the United States from authoritarian regimes around the world and is fundamental to our democracy,” the letter reads. “The President and the Attorney General have put this long and important tradition at risk.”

The letter also referenced former national security adviser John BoltonJohn BoltonTrump envoy says US ready to talk to North Korea but rebukes Pyongyang counterpart Why Trump can't make up his mind on China The benefits of American disinterest in world affairs MORE’s interview set to air on ABC Sunday night, in which he said the president proposed intervening in an SDNY investigation into the Turkish state-owned bank Halkbank. 

In a preview clip, Bolton said the president had discussed the case with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who wanted a settlement for the bank, which was charged in a six-count criminal indictment with fraud, money laundering and sanction offenses. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"And the president said to Erdoğan at one point, 'Look, those prosecutors in New York are Obama people. Wait till I get my people in, and then we'll take care of this,’” he said. 

The Justice Department announced Berman would be “stepping down” on Friday, but the attorney refused to resign without a Senate approved replacement. Barr asked Trump to officially fire Berman on Saturday. 

Berman’s office has been investigating Trump’s personal lawyer 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 and had prosecuted his 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, among other associates.