When you count up all the people who have been fired, the people who have resigned amid scandal, and the people who have resigned in protest, the Donald Trump administration has been hemorrhaging even more key personnel than usual lately. Tonight a key player is resigning: Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the SDNY. So what’s this about?
First, let’s be clear: this doesn’t look like a legitimate resignation. It came too abruptly. The Trump regime has already picked out a replacement too quickly. And because Berman’s tenure likely would have ended in January anyway, there has to be a specific reason he’s not simply finishing his term.
There are only two reasons for Trump to oust Berman from the SDNY and replace him with someone more friendly to Trump. The first is that Trump wants to have the SDNY bring a phony criminal case against one of his adversaries. The second is that Trump is trying to stop an existing criminal case against one of his friends from proceeding.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the SDNY, which has federal jurisdiction in Manhattan, was responsible for the arrests of Lev and Igor, and is expected to arrest Rudy Giuliani eventually. In addition, if the Feds were to bring criminal charges against the Trump Organization, or members of Donald Trump’s family, it would likely happen through the SDNY. John Bolton’s new book also reveals that Trump meddled in an SDNY case against a Turkish firm as a political favor. In any case, something corrupt is likely playing out here.
Because confusion always arises whenever the SDNY is mentioned, it’s worth keeping mind that the SDNY is part of the federal government, and has nothing at all to do with any state-level charges that would come from the State of New York.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report