Powerful US lawyer Geoffrey Berman, investigating Trump partners, refuses to resign after Barr tries to kick him out

“I did not resign from my position assigned by the Judges of the District Court of the New York South District of the United States, and I do not intend to resign. A candidate appointed by the Presidency, Senate,” said Berman. “Our research will continue without delay or without interruption until then.”

Berman’s objection came about an hour after the Justice Department announced Trump’s intention to nominate Jay Clayton, president of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who was never a prosecutor.

A Justice Ministry official told CNN that Berman had been offered other positions in Justice, including his deputy chief prosecutor. Berman refused.

A second source knowing the subject said that Berman was asked to resign and be rejected. Chief Prosecutor William Barr said he wanted Berman to resign during a face-to-face meeting in New York on Friday.

Berman’s forced assignment is likely to examine the U.S. law firm and among career prosecutors. Since 2018, under Manhattan’s US attorney and leadership, his office has tried Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, investigating senior Trump confidant Rudy Giuliani, and blaming former New York mayors Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.

Tensions between the New York and Washington offices proceeded with Berman and Barr to deal with certain cases, including the Turkish bank Halkbank’s indictment.

Last fall, Justice Ministry officials discussed replacing Berman with a senior official, Ed O’Callaghan, but later prosecutors expressed his partners Giuliani, a movement that seemed to extend Berman’s mandate.

The timing of the movement was announced shortly before 22:00. ET immediately asked questions about the circumstances of Berman’s departure.

Preet Bharara, CNN senior legal analyst, who was expelled by Trump as a US lawyer shortly after Trump’s deployment in 2017, is a “very untidy thing” statement from CNN to Don Lemon late at night. “There are all kinds of investigations revolving around. ”

“There may be anger over how some of the previous investigations were made with respect to the president, his partners, his former lawyer, Michael Cohen and others.”

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And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, “leads to potential corruption of the legal process late Friday night. What is President Trump’s anger? This is a previous action by the US Lawyer or an ongoing action?”

Clayton was corporate lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell before Trump was nominated for a SEC post. If confirmed, Clayton is not the first prosecutor to lead SDNY.

Justice official said that Barr and Clayton have known each other for years and Clayton is planning to return to NY. The justice official expressed interest in SDNY’s business and Barr agreed.

Barr said that Trump is now serving the United States New Jersey District Attorney Craig Carpenito as the deputy of New York’s South Region until Clayton is confirmed. Carpenito will start his role on July 3.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

CNN’s Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.

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