Ex-U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman Says Trump Demanded DOJ Prosecution Of Enemies
The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to investigate Trump’s Justice Department and if it made efforts to use the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office to “aid them politically.”
The allegations came out in former U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman‘s new book, Holding Line, which is out on Tuesday.
“Throughout my tenure as U.S. attorney,” Berman wrote, “Trump’s Justice Department kept demanding that I use my office to aid them politically, and I kept declining – in ways just tactful enough to keep me from being fired.”
He said his office was pressured to investigate former Secretary of State John Kerry who helped negotiate a nuclear accord with Iran under then-President Barack Obama. Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal.
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Berman was later fired by Trump in June 2020 after he refused to resign.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), who chairs the Judiciary Committee, called on the Justice Department to aid its probe.
“These reported claims indicate astonishing and unacceptable deviations from the Department’s mission to pursue impartial justice, which requires that its prosecutorial decisions be free from political influence,” Durbin wrote to Attorney Gen. Merrick Garland in a Monday letter.
“They also compound the already serious concerns raised by then-Attorney General Barr’s 2020 efforts to replace Mr. Berman with a Trump loyalist,” he added. “If accurate, Mr. Berman’s claims indicate multiple instances of political interference in the Department’s investigative and prosecutorial decisions.”
In the letter, Durbin also asked the Justice Department to hand over documents and communications pertaining to Berman’s claims by October 3.
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