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 SchumerCapitol insurrection fallout: A PATRIOT Act 2.0? Schumer calls for DOJ watchdog to probe alleged Trump effort to oust acting AG Student loan forgiveness would be windfall for dentists, doctors and lawyers 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. 


Attorney General William BarrBill BarrBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Two-thirds say the election was fair: poll The Hill's Morning Report - An inauguration like no other 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 CohenFlorida bank says it has closed Trump's accounts Trump's pardons harshly criticized by legal experts Manhattan DA expands probe into Trump company to include family estate: report MORE to prison and is investigating his current personal attorney, Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiLawyers group calls for Giuliani's suspension from law practice, ethics probe Would Trump have gotten away with a self-pardon? History will never know Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon 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."