Schumer calls on DOJ IG to probe decision to try to oust US attorney in Manhattan

Schumer calls on DOJ IG to probe decision to try to oust US attorney in Manhattan
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles 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.) is calling on two Justice Department offices to investigate the decision to try to remove the U.S. attorney for Manhattan. 

"I am calling for the Department of Justice Inspector General and the Office of Professional Responsibility to immediately launch an investigation into the reasons behind the decision by the president and the attorney general to attempt to dismiss Mr. Berman," Schumer said.

Democrats have panned the decision by the administration to try to remove the current U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman. 

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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 announced on Friday night that Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Jay Clayton would be nominated for the post and that Berman was "stepping down." 

But Berman subsequently said he had not resigned and would not step down until the Senate confirmed a successor.

Barr did not provide any details on the decision in his statement on Friday night, instead praising Berman. 

"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.  I appreciate his service to the Department of Justice and our nation, and I wish him well in the future," Barr said.

But Democrats view it as the latest attempt to politicize the Justice Department. Berman's office ran the probe that sent Trump’s former personal 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 to prison and is investigating his current personal 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.

Schumer on Saturday called Berman's ouster a "brazen Trump-Barr scheme to interfere in investigations by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York."