Biden campaign says firing of US attorney for Southern District of New York raises 'extraordinary concerns'
Former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign raises alarm over President Donald Trump's decision on Friday evening to fire US attorney for the southern district of New York, Geoffry Berman, who refused to resign.
"Last night's news raises even more fundamental questions about the rule of law in the Trump administration and heightens extraordinary concern about a Attorney General who appears to be undermining his duty to seek impartial justice to promote the President's political interests," Deputy said campaign manager and communications director Kate Bedingfield said in a statement to ABC News.
Trump had privately pushed for Berman's eviction and has been discussing this for months with close advisers, sources familiar with the matter inform ABC News.
Berman was appointed provisional replacement for former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in 2018 and oversaw several politically sensitive investigations, including the case against Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen.
MORE: Trump fires U.S. attorney for New York's southern district, Geoffrey Berman, but he has no intention of resigning.
Since the President had not nominated him or any other permanent replacement for more than 120 days, the District Court appointed Berman a job where he was legally active until the position was filled.
According to sources close to him, Berman has always known that he was being watched by both a skeptical office that initially doubted its independence and the Trump administration due to several cases involving members of the President's inner circle, including the Investigation by Cohen.
"I heard in a press release from the Attorney General that I was resigning as a United States attorney. I have not resigned and I have no intention of resigning my position," Berman said in a statement on Friday evening.
"I will resign if the Senate confirms a candidate nominated by the President. Until then, our investigation will continue immediately or without interruption," he continued.
One of these cases, which has been going on for months, is the investigation into the business of President Rudy Giuliani's personal lawyer after two of his former employees - Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman - were charged with campaign funding violations.
Berman appeared at work on Saturday and told the press that he had nothing else to add to the situation.
"I made a statement last night. I have nothing to add this morning. I'm just here to do my job," said Berman on Saturday morning and entered the office.
Later on Saturday, however, Berman said he would step down with deputy U.S. attorney Audrey Strauss, who has now been selected to take the role.
"Given Attorney General Barr's decision to respect normal law and appoint US Attorney Audrey Strauss as incumbent US attorney, I will leave the United States Attorney's Office for the southern district of New York with immediate effect," he said in a statement. "It has been the honor of my life to act as the US attorney for this district and administrator of its proud heritage, but I couldn't leave the district in better hands than Audreys. She is the smartest, principled and most effective lawyer she works with ever had the privilege of working. "
The Biden campaign argued that attempts by Trump or Attorney General William Barr to remove Berman would "be another case of lawless action by the department responsible for enforcing the law."
"The administration must be held accountable for Attorney General Barr's Department of Justice taking irregular measures for the President's personal and political gain," Bedingfield wrote in the statement.
According to the Biden campaign, the layoff of a US attorney for the southern district of New York raises "exceptional concerns" that originally surfaced on abcnews.go.com
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