Patterico's Pontifications


Berman Unequivocally Wins the Fight Over His Successor

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 4:08 pm

After nine updates to my previous post, I don’t want this to get lost in the mix. Geoff Berman has won this fight.

Here is AG Barr’s announcement last night:

Attorney General William P. Barr has released the following statement:

“I am pleased to announce that President Trump intends to nominate Jay Clayton, currently the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to serve as the next United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. For the past three years, Jay has been an extraordinarily successful SEC Chairman, overseeing efforts to modernize regulation of the capital markets, protect Main Street investors, enhance American competitiveness, and address challenges ranging from cybersecurity issues to the COVID-19 pandemic. His management experience and expertise in financial regulation give him an ideal background to lead the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and he will be a worthy successor to the many historic figures who have held that post. On behalf of the President, I thank Jay for accepting this nomination, and I look forward to working with him soon.

On my recommendation, the President has appointed Craig Carpenito, currently the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, to serve as the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, while the Senate is considering Jay Clayton’s nomination. This appointment will be effective July 3, and Craig will work closely with the outgoing United States Attorney to ensure a smooth transition. I thank Craig for his continued service and for taking on this important interim responsibility.

Finally, I thank Geoffrey Berman, who is stepping down after two-and-a-half years of service as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. With tenacity and savvy, Geoff has done an excellent job leading one of our nation’s most significant U.S. Attorney’s Offices, achieving many successes on consequential civil and criminal matters. I appreciate his service to the Department of Justice and our nation, and I wish him well in the future.”

Here is AG Barr’s letter today to Berman:

Note especially this passage:

By operation of law, the Deputy United States Attorney, Audrey Strauss, will become the Acting United States Attorney, and I anticipate that she will serve in that capacity until a permanent successor is in place.

Barr blinked, and Berman’s statement makes it very clear that this shift in the identity of his successor was the reason he agreed to step down.

In light of Attorney General Barr’s decision to respect the normal operation of law and have Deputy U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss become Acting U.S. Attorney, I will be leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, effective immediately. It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve as this District’s U.S. Attorney and a custodian of its proud legacy, but I could leave the District in no better hands than Audrey’s. She is the smartest, most principled, and effective lawyer with whom I have ever had the privilege of working. And I know that under her leadership, this Office’s unparalleled AUSAs, investigators, paralegals, and staff will continue to safeguard the Southern District’s enduring tradition of integrity and independence.

Audrey Strauss is not going to squash the investigations into Trump cronies.

It’s this simple:

Berman refused to leave when his replacement was going to be political appointee Craig Carpenito. He agreed to leave when Barr said Strauss would get the position. That’s why Berman agreed to step down. Period.

PSA: If anyone is telling you that Berman was always going to step down, because he knew he had no choice, they’re lying to you or they don’t understand what happened. Such people have to explain why Barr blinked on the issue of who would succeed Berman. And they can’t. If you care about the truth, you should not listen to such hacks. (PSA ends.)

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:21 am

[guest post by Dana]

Here are a few news items for you to chew over. Feel free to post any that you think readers would be interested in learning about. Please make sure to include links.

First news item

Amy Klobuchar and the writing on the wall:

The white Minnesota senator, who had seen her prospects fall as racial tensions swept the nation, said she called the presumptive presidential nominee Wednesday night and made the suggestion. Biden had already committed to choosing a woman as his running mate.

“I think this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket,” Klobuchar said on MSNBC. “If you want to heal this nation right now — my party, yes, but our nation — this is sure a hell of a way to do it.”

Reportedly, the choice is now between Susan Rice and Kamala Harris. Elizabeth who??

Second news item

Trump promises “wild evening” at Tulsa rally tonight:

Pressed on why he wasn’t using his presidential bully pulpit to encourage rally attendees to wear masks, Trump described masks as “a double-edged sword.” When asked if he recommended people wear them, he added: “I recommend people do what they want.”

More from the interview:

The president stood by his tweet earlier Friday warning protesters that law enforcement in Tulsa will not treat them “like you have been in New York, Seattle or Minneapolis.” Trump said, “That’s got to be the least controversial of my tweets.”

“Oklahoma’s much tougher on law and order” than some parts of the country, he said, and insisted that protests are packed with anarchists, agitators and looters. “They’re all together.”

He relished the lifting of a health and safety curfew in Tulsa for his supporters and said he has no intention of wearing a mask at the rally and that people should do what they want.

“I don’t feel that I’m in danger,” he said. “I’ve met a lot, a lot of people, and so far here I sit.” (Everyone who meets with Trump, including this reporter, is tested beforehand.)

Third news item

Court says Oklahoma rally participants not required to wear masks:

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Friday rejected a request to require everyone attending President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa this weekend to wear a face mask and maintain social distancing inside the arena…

The court ruled that the two local residents who asked that the thousands expected at Saturday night’s rally be required to take the precautions couldn’t establish that they had a clear legal right to the relief they sought. Oklahoma has had a recent spike in coronavirus cases, but in a concurring opinion, two justices noted that the state’s plan to reopen its economy is “permissive, suggestive and discretionary.”

“Therefore, for lack of any mandatory language in the (plan), we are compelled to deny the relief requested.”

Fourth news item

When what we *need* something to be transcends all else:

Linger for a moment on this: A white mayor dismissing the black resident’s explanation charging ahead with an emotionally fraught investigation against him that could result in enhanced penalties.

Fifth news item

When the horse is already out of the barn:

A District Court judge in Washington, D.C. has denied an injunction attempt by the Trump administration to stop former National Security Adviser John Bolton’s tell-all book from being sold in bookstores from June 23. In a ruling handed down Saturday morning, Judge Royce C. Lamberth wrote that Bolton’s book… has already been widely distributed to news media for excerpt and 200,000 copies have been shipped across the country. The judge wrote, “given the widespread dissemination of the books, the ‘horse is already out of the barn’.”

…“Defendant Bolton has gambled with the national security of the United States. He has exposed his country to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability,” Lamberth wrote. “But these facts do not control the motion before the Court. The government has failed to establish that an injunction will prevent irreparable harm. Its motion is accordingly DENIED.”

Sixth news item

Hey, this CHAZ sure doesn’t sound like the utopia the brochure advertised:

At least two people were shot and one was killed inside Seattle’s Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) area early Saturday morning, and police say they are investigating despite it being in a “no-cop” zone of the city.

Videos recorded Saturday morning show volunteer medics scrambling to help the purported victims after Seattle Police Department radio dispatchers received multiple reports of three to six gunshots around 2:20 a.m. People involved in the incident were seen fleeing the scene north from 10th Avenue and East Pine street in the city’s Capitol Hill autonomous protest zone, also called CHAZ. Seattle Police abandoned the closest East Precinct building on June 8th after days of confrontations with protesters in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in the custody of Minneapolis police.

Have a great weekend.


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