Biden campaign says firing of US attorney for Southern District of New York raises 'extraordinary concerns'
Trump had been privately pushing for Berman's ouster, sources tell ABC.
Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is raising alarms about President Donald Trump’s decision Friday night to fire U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffry Berman, who declined to step down.
"Last night's news raises yet more fundamental questions about the rule of law in the Trump Administration, and heightens extraordinary concerns about an attorney general who seems to subvert his duty to seek impartial justice in order to further the political interests of the president," Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director Kate Bedingfield said in a statement to ABC News.
Trump had been privately pushing for the ousting of Berman and has discussed it for months with close advisers, sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News.
Berman was named the interim replacement for former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara in 2018 by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and oversaw several politically sensitive investigations, including the case against Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen.
Because the president failed to nominate him or any other permanent replacement for more than 120 days, the district court appointed Berman to the job, where by law he serves until the vacancy is filled.
According to sources close to him, Berman has always known he was being watched both by a skeptical office that initially doubted his independence, as well as the Trump administration due to several cases involving members of the president’s inner circle, including the investigation of Cohen.
"I learned in a press release from the Attorney General tonight that I was 'stepping down' as United States Attorney. I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position," Berman said in a statement Friday night.
"I will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate. Until then, our investigations will move forward without delay or interruption," he continued.