Elizabeth Warren calls on Attorney General Bill Barr to resign and for Congress to impeach him over messy firing of top New York City prosecutor

Elizabeth Warren called on Attorney General Bill Barr to resign on Saturday over the botched firing of a top New York City prosecutor.  
The Massachusetts senator called Barr's actions a 'naked abuse of power' and said he should be impeached over the messy episode. 
It came just hours before Manhattan's top federal prosecutor Geoffrey Berman eventually agreed to resign from his post on Saturday. 
The Trump Administration had fired him earlier in the day but Berman, who had investigated associates of President Donald Trump, was refusing to leave.  
Elizabeth Warren has claimed that U.S. Attorney General Bill Bar should be impeached by Congress for firing a top New York City prosecutor investigating Trump's associates
Elizabeth Warren has claimed that U.S. Attorney General Bill Bar should be impeached by Congress for firing a top New York City prosecutor investigating Trump's associates
U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr initially claimed Manhattan's top federal prosecutor Geoffrey Berman resigned Friday but Berman stated that was not true. Barr then fired Berman Saturday but the prosecutor initially refused to step aside before backing down later in the day
U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr initially claimed Manhattan's top federal prosecutor Geoffrey Berman resigned Friday but Berman stated that was not true. Barr then fired Berman Saturday but the prosecutor initially refused to step aside before backing down later in the day
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren called for Congress to impeach U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr on Saturday after the messy firing of a top New York City prosecutor
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren called for Congress to impeach U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr on Saturday after the messy firing of a top New York City prosecutor

Warren shared an article on Twitter Saturday afternoon reporting on Barr's attempts to push out Berman late Friday night and the stand-off that ensued throughout Saturday.
She claimed that Barr was abusing his power to interfere with matters relating to Trump. 
'This is a naked abuse of power. I've already called for AG William Barr to resign & for Congress to impeach him,' she wrote. 
'Congress should pass my bill now to defund Barr's authority to interfere with matters related to Trump, his family, & his campaign.'
On Saturday evening, Berman agreed to step down from his role after Attorney General Barr said he would allow Berman's deputy to take over the job until a permanent replacement can be installed. 

'In light of Attorney General Barr's decision to respect the normal operation of law and have Deputy U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss become Acting U.S. Attorney, I will be leaving the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, effective immediately,' Berman said in a statement.  
Berman and Barr had been in an increasingly nasty standoff after meeting in Manhattan on Friday. 
Afterward, the Justice Department announced Berman had resigned.   
But hours later, the prosecutor said he would not step down, and his investigations would continue. He arrived at his office Saturday morning, telling reporters: 'I'm just here to do my job.'
Later in the day, Barr sent a letter to Berman, informing him he was formally fired.
In his letter to Berman, Barr said he expected to continue speaking with him about other possible positions within the department and was surprised by the statement he released.
Geoffrey S. Berman, United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced he is stepping aside from his role on Saturday. It came after he initially refused to accept his dismissal from U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, who attempted to fire him earlier in the day
Geoffrey S. Berman, United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced he is stepping aside from his role on Saturday. It came after he initially refused to accept his dismissal from U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, who attempted to fire him earlier in the day
Geoffrey Berman said in a strongly worded statement that he would not be leaving his position as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York for later stepped aside
Geoffrey Berman said in a strongly worded statement that he would not be leaving his position as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York for later stepped aside
'Unfortunately, with your statement of last night, you have chosen public spectacle over public service,' Barr wrote, adding that the idea that Berman had to continue on the job to safeguard investigations was 'false'.
'Your statement also wrongly implies that your continued tenure in the office is necessary to ensure that cases now pending in the Southern District of New York are handled appropriately,' he wrote. 'This is obviously false.'
Berman was planning to fight the decision even after Barr's letter, but that possibility was becoming less clear as the day wore on. 
The situation was made more complicated by the fact that Berman was never formally nominated for his position by Trump and instead appointed by a federal court. 
Berman argued that as a result, federal law allows for him to stay on the job until a presidential nominee is confirmed by the Senate. 
Earlier Saturday, Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally and chair of the Senate Judiciary committee, suggested he would not rubber-stamp a new nominee.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally and chair of the Senate Judiciary committee, suggested Saturday he would not rubber-stamp a new nominee for Berman's position
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally and chair of the Senate Judiciary committee, suggested Saturday he would not rubber-stamp a new nominee for Berman's position
Trump
Attorney General Bill Barr said on Saturday that Trump ordered the removal of top New York City prosecutor Geoffrey S. Berman but Trump denied that he was involved
However, it appears Trump is able to circumvent the confirmation requirement by firing Berman and putting his deputy in charge effective immediately.
The Trump administration's firing of Berman escalated tensions with the high-profile office that has overseen numerous investigations into President Trump's allies.  
Barr said Trump personally issued the order but the president denied he was involved.
The extraordinary clash between the White House and Berman also fueled new accusations of political interference in the Justice Department, particularly given that Berman's office is engaged in an ongoing investigation into Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. 
Barr offered no explanation for his action. 
People familiar with the matter in the Southern District could point to no clear reason for Berman's removal, though they noted his job had always seemed in jeopardy and Berman was never given the sense that it was secure. 
Berman's office also took actions on some important cases without first informing Washington. 
Geoffrey S. Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, stepped aside from his role on Saturday evening after a heated stand off with AG Bill Barr
Geoffrey S. Berman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, stepped aside from his role on Saturday evening after a heated stand off with AG Bill Barr
But the various investigations are ongoing and no charges seem imminent, said the people familiar with the matter, who weren't authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. 
Berman, a Republican who contributed to the president's election campaign, worked for the same law firm as Giuliani and was put in his job by the Trump administration. 
But as U.S. attorney, he won over some skeptics after he went after Trump allies. 
The office has prosecuted a number of Trump associates, including Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who served a prison sentence for lying to Congress and campaign finance crimes, and has also been investigating Giuliani and his associates. 
Berman had recused himself from directly overseeing the Cohen investigation for reasons that were never disclosed. 
He was appointed by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in January 2018, months after former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara was fired after refusing to resign along with dozens of other federal prosecutors appointed by President Barack Obama. 
Three months later, FBI agents raided Cohen's offices, an act the president decried as a politically motivated witch hunt. 
Berman has taken a direct hand in other investigations that have angered Trump. 
His office subpoenaed Trump's inaugural committee for a wide range of documents as part of an investigation into various potential crimes, including possible illegal contributions from foreigners to inaugural events.
The Southern District has prosecuted a number of Trump associates, including Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, who served a prison sentence for lying to Congress and campaign finance crimes
It has also been investigating Rudy Giuliani and his associates
The Southern District has prosecuted a number of Trump associates, including Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen (left), who served a prison sentence for lying to Congress and campaign finance crimes, and has also been investigating Rudy Giuliani (right) and his associates
And weeks before the 2018 midterm election, Berman announced insider trading charges against an ardent Trump supporter, Republican Rep. Chris Collins. Collins, who represented western New York, has since resigned.
Under Berman's tenure, his office also brought charges against Michael Avenatti, the combative lawyer who gained fame by representing porn actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits involving Trump. 
Avenatti was convicted in February of trying to extort sportswear giant Nike after prosecutors said he threatened to use his media access to hurt Nike´s reputation and stock price unless the company paid him up to $25 million.
Berman has also overseen the prosecution of two Florida businessmen, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who were associates of Giuliani and tied to the Ukraine impeachment investigation. 
The men were charged in October with federal campaign finance violations, including hiding the origin of a $325,000 donation to a group supporting Trump's reelection. 
Federal prosecutors in New York are investigating Giuliani´s business dealings, including whether he failed to register as a foreign agent, according to people familiar with the probe. The people were not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The White House announced that Trump was nominating Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton, a well-connected Wall Street lawyer with virtually no experience as a federal prosecutor, for the job. 
A senior department official said Clayton was planning to leave the administration, wanted to move back to New York and expressed interest in the Southern District position, and Barr thought he would be a good fit. 
The official was not authorized to publicly discuss internal department matters and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Senator Graham said he was unlikely to proceed with Clayton's nomination unless New York's senators, Democrats Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, gave their consent to the pick. 
Schumer said the bid to oust Berman 'reeks of potential corruption of the legal process,' and Gillibrand had said she would 'not be complicit' in helping fire a prosecutor investigating corruption. 
Both lawmakers called for Clayton to withdraw from consideration.
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said his committee was inviting Berman to testify this coming week. 
Schumer called for the department's inspector general and Office of Professional Responsibility to investigate.  
Elizabeth Warren calls on Attorney General Bill Barr to resign and for Congress to impeach him over messy firing of top New York City prosecutor Elizabeth Warren calls on Attorney General Bill Barr to resign and for Congress to impeach him over messy firing of top New York City prosecutor Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 01:41 Rating: 5

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