The Berman story seems to be another example on how not to fire someone, especially when the intention is to shield the president. https://us.cnn.com/2020/06/20/politics/trump-...
Geoffrey Berman is leaving office immediately after standoff with Trump administration
(CNN)Geoffrey Berman, the powerful prosecutor atop the Manhattan US Attorney's office who has pursued President Donald Trump and his allies, said he would exit his post Saturday, ending a standoff after Trump and Attorney General William Barr fired him.
Berman's departure came a day after he refused Barr's request that he resign. In a curt letter to Berman on Saturday, Barr told him Trump had agreed to remove him and conceded that Berman's deputy would succeed him.
"Unfortunately, with your statement of last night, you have chosen public spectacle over public service," Barr wrote in his letter to Berman. "Because you have declared that you have no intention of resigning, I have asked the President to remove you as of today, and he has done so."
He provided no justification for pushing out Berman.
Speaking to reporters shortly after Barr's letter was made public, however, Trump said, "That's his department, not my department." He added: "I'm not involved."
Though Barr had said Friday that he would install Craig Carpenito, a person close to Barr who is now the US attorney in New Jersey, to serve as Berman's acting replacement, the attorney general's letter Saturday noted that "by operation of law," Berman's current deputy, Audrey Strauss, will become acting US attorney.
"I anticipate that she will serve in that capacity until a permanent successor is in place," Barr wrote.
Berman's strategy of refusing to resign paid off for his former office. In a victory lap, Berman said he was leaving "In light of Attorney General Barr's decision to respect the normal operation of law" by appointing Strauss.
The move was viewed as a win for SDNY, where prosecutors had become uneasy over the prospect of a new leader viewed as loyal to Barr.
Berman's 18-hour hold-out appeared to force Barr to walk back his initial plan to appoint Carpenito. It isn't clear why Barr changed course but his appointment of Strauss proved enough for Berman to step down.
"After all this what did they gain by getting rid of Berman? Nothing," said one former SDNY prosecutor of Barr.
Berman leaves behind a string of high-profile prosecutions and investigations. Since he became US attorney in early 2018, the office has prosecuted Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen, is investigating top Trump confidante Rudy Giuliani and indicted the former New York mayor's associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.
Tensions between the New York and Washington offices have run high during his tenure, with Berman and Barr butting heads over the handling of some cases, including the indictment of Turkish bank Halkbank. Recently, SDNY prosecutors, who have expressed suspicions that Barr is funneling politically sensitive cases to other US attorney's office and to prosecutors inside the Justice Department's units. One of those cases is the insider trading investigation of Republican Sen. Richard Burr, who sold large stock positions as he was receiving briefings on the pandemic. The North Carolina senator has denied wrongdoing and said he is cooperating with the investigation.
SDNY prosecutors, which have experience bringing securities fraud cases, wanted to lead the investigation but Justice Department officials steered the case to the DC US attorney's office and DOJ's Public Integrity section.
Berman had also clashed with senior DOJ leadership over the handling of other cases and policies, people said, all of which contributed to a slow burn of distrust between the men.
Though it isn't clear that any one particular investigation or conflict led to Berman's ouster, federal prosecutors in New York, working under Berman, have continued to pursue cases that pose significant threats to Trump and his allies. In the past month, according to two people familiar with the matter, prosecutors and FBI agents have been actively interviewing witnesses as part of their investigation concerning Giuliani, Parnas and Fruman.
In April, during discussions about delaying the trial date for Parnas and Fruman as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, prosecutors informed the parties in the case that they expected to file additional charges in what's known as a superseding indictment no later than the end of July, according to one of the people familiar with the matter.
And remember, Berman was named as interims AG only und then appointed by the courts, because Trump did not succeed in getting his appointment through the senate. And Berman is reportedly a Republican - at least he donated to either the Trump campaign itself or the Republican Party in 2016.