President Donald Trump spoke with then-acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker late last year  hoping Whitaker would reappoint U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman as head of the investigation into Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer,” according to a new report in The New York Times.

Bernman, an attorney who’s friends with Trump and had contributed to his campaign, previously recused himself from overseeing the investigation into Cohen due to conflicts of interest. Robert Khuzami is currently running the Manhattan-based probe, having inherited it from Berman.


Currently, there is no evidence that implies Whitaker directly sought to reinstate Berman as head of the New York investigation. However, he did tell a few Justice Department prosecutors that the investigation will require some “adult supervision.”


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William Barr is currently the Attorney General, previously serving in the role from 1991 to 1993 under George H.W. Bush. Trump was presumably drawn to Barr because of a memo he wrote last year, which claimed a president held the “complete authority to start or stop a law enforcement proceeding.” Continuing, Barr contested a president should not be charged for performing acts, such as firing an FBI director, that are within his capacity to do.

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