Earlier today, Palmer Report explained that the ongoing saga between U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman and the Trump-Barr two headed monster would end up being decided in court, unless one side or the other decided to cave. Now it turns out one side has caved – but it’s not Berman.
Geoffrey Berman just announced to the media that he has in fact agreed to immediately resign, but only because Bill Barr has agreed to let Berman’s deputy Audrey Strauss become the Acting U.S. Attorney in his place. Strauss is widely trusted; former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara immediately tweeted his support for her. This means that Trump and Barr will not get to install their own stooge as the Acting U.S. Attorney.
It’s a given that Audrey Strauss will move forward with the SDNY criminal cases that she and Geoffrey Berman were already overseeing. She’ll be in place until the Senate confirms a permanent replacement. Earlier today, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham stated that he’ll allow the Democratic Senators from New York to veto Trump’s nominee if they so choose.
Berman wouldn’t be doing this if he thought there was any way that Trump and Barr will be able to turn around and fire Strauss. The bottom line is that although Berman has lost his job, he’s won the battle. He’s installed his own loyal Deputy in his place, and he’s ensured that the SDNY criminal cases against Trump and/or his allies will continue. This is a clear loss for Barr, and it leaves him in the position of having to spin it as a win while explaining it to Trump.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report