Washington, D.C. – Today, the House Judiciary Committee conducted a transcribed interview with Geoffrey Berman, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY). In June, Attorney General William Barr attempted to push Berman out of office and bring in his handpicked replacement to run SDNY. Berman ultimately stepped down after ensuring that his deputy would act as interim U.S. Attorney.
Mr. Berman opened the interview with an opening statement, which is available here. A transcript of the interview will be made available at a later date.
Key Takeaways from the Interview with Berman:
Attorney General Barr tried repeatedly to “entice” Berman to leave office by offering him plush positions at the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division and Chairman of the SEC.
Mr. Berman refused each of those offers. He told the Attorney General that he preferred not to be fired, but would not resign his post.
At no point prior to the Attorney General’s offer did Mr. Berman express interest in pursuing other opportunities at the Department of Justice.
Attorney General Barr’s plan to bring in an outsider to run SDNY on an interim basis was “unprecedented, unnecessary, and unexplained” and certain to “delay and disrupt” pending investigations.
In his effort to push out Mr. Berman, Attorney General Barr lied repeatedly to the public. The Attorney General knew full well that Mr. Berman had not resigned from his post when he issued his June 19 press release announcing Mr. Berman’s resignation.