Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., asked Attorney General William Barr about the removal and replacement of several U.S. attorneys currently investigating President Donald Trump, including Geoffrey Berman, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, who stepped down last month. Berman had been overseeing investigations of the president’s associates, including Rudy Giuliani, who suggested that the U.S. attorney may have been removed for this reason.
Barr said in a House Judiciary hearing that the suggestion he removed Berman to protect the president was “nonsense,” and denied interfering in any SDNY investigations.
“As far as I’m aware, the office was satisfied with the resolution,” Barr said of Berman’s departure. He later clarified that Trump “has never asked me, directed me, pressured me to do anything in a criminal case.”
“The president has made a mockery of the Department of Justice, and I believe as the nation’s top cop, no one should care more about that,” Demings said.
Demings questioned Barr during a committee hearing examining whether the attorney general has inappropriately politicized the Justice Department. Democrats launched the investigation earlier this year over Barr’s handling of the case against Roger Stone, a close ally of President Donald Trump, whose 40-month prison sentence was commuted by the president this month. Democrats have since expanded their probe to several subsequent episodes in which they believe Barr is working for Trump’s own benefit.
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