Awhile back, Donald Trump figured out that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York was going to eventually bring criminal charges against him, because it’s the district where his home and business operations are based. So Trump fired Preet Bharara from the SDNY and replaced him with his own associate, Geoffrey Berman. That plan has ended up failing Trump on an almost catastrophic level.
Things went south for Donald Trump almost immediately, as Geoffrey Berman took one look at the whole thing and decided to recuse himself from any SDNY investigation related to Trump. In other words, Berman was willing to take the SDNY gig, but he wasn’t dumb enough to go in and take the risk of committing obstruction of justice on Trump’s behalf. SDNY has since gone on to take down Michael Cohen, and convinced Cohen to cooperate against Trump. Now it turns out the whole thing is even worse for Trump.
After Donald Trump illegally appointed Matt Whitaker as Acting Attorney General, Trump asked Whitaker to put Berman in charge of the SDNY investigation into Trump, according to the New York Times. Whitaker explained that this wasn’t even possible, because Berman had already recused himself. Apparently even Whitaker’s idiocy has its relative limits. And just like that, Trump’s grand plan for saving himself went up in a puff of smoke.
Worse, someone involved in the process has fed the entire behind-the-scenes story to the New York Times, thus setting up yet another count of felony obstruction of justice against Donald Trump. What’s remarkable here is that Trump isn’t just brazenly corrupt, he’s stunningly incompetent at being corrupt. Meanwhile, SDNY is still unfazed and targeting him.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report