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 GillibrandOvernight Energy & Environment — Biden makes return to pre-Trump national monument boundaries official Biden signs bill to help victims of 'Havana syndrome' Lawmakers using leadership PACs as 'slush funds' to live lavish lifestyles: report MORE (D-N.Y.) plans to try and block President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden: Those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money 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.


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 GrassleyChuck GrassleyFill the Eastern District of Virginia  On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Congress makes technology policy moves 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 BhararaPreet BhararaWhatever else he did, Cuomo did not obstruct justice by ranting to Obama White House Why Trump (probably) won't be indicted New York Times in discussions to acquire The Athletic: report 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.