In New Letter To DOJ IG And Office Of Professional Responsibility, Leader Schumer Calls For Immediate Investigation Into Potentially Corrupt Firing Of U.S. Attorney Berman, The Latest In String Of Purges Of Administration Officials

June 22, 2020

In New Letter To DOJ IG Horowitz And Office Of Professional Responsibility Director Ragsdale, Leader Schumer Requests Joint Investigation Into Firing Of U.S. Attorney Berman To Determine Reasons For Berman’s Removal And To Prevent Further Abuses Of The Administration Of Justice

Leader Schumer Emphasizes That U.S. Attorney Berman’s Firing Cannot Be Explained By Cause, And Requests Determination Of Whether He Was Removed For Partisan Political Purposes, Retaliation, Or To Influence Ongoing Investigations Into Trump Associates 

Leader Schumer To DOJ IG Horowitz And OPR Director Ragsdale: Conduct Identical Investigation Your Offices Led After Firings Of U.S. Attorneys During The Administration Of George W. Bush

Washington, D.C.— Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today sent a letter to Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michel Horowitz and Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) Director Jeffrey Ragsdale requesting the DOJ IG and OPR immediately conduct a joint investigation into the firing of U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman.

Attorney General Barr initially misrepresented in a press release the nature of U.S. Attorney Berman’s ouster, describing his abrupt removal as “stepping down.” Friday night’s botched firing cannot be explained by cause and gives the impression that the President may have interfered in ongoing criminal investigations into himself and his associates. Leader Schumer requests that the DOJ Office of Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility review the process and justifications for the removal of the U.S. Attorney Berman and whether he was removed for partisan political purposes, to influence an investigation or prosecution, or to retaliate for his actions in any specific investigation or prosecution, and help restore confidence in the administration of justice and prevent further abuses. The DOJ Office of Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility conducted an identical investigation after multiple U.S. Attorneys were told to resign from their positions at the direction of senior Department of Justice officials starting in 2006.

Leader Schumer’s letter to Inspector General Horowitz and Director Jeffrey Ragsdale can be found here and below:

Dear Inspector General Horowitz and Director Ragsdale:

I write to request that the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility immediately conduct a joint investigation into the firing of U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman. I ask that you review the reason for the removal of the U.S. Attorney Berman and whether he was removed for partisan political purposes, to influence an investigation or prosecution, or to retaliate for his actions in any specific investigation or prosecution.

Your offices undertook an identical investigation after multiple U.S. Attorneys were told to resign from their positions at the direction of senior Department of Justice officials starting in 2006. At the conclusion of that investigation, your offices found that the removal of these U.S. Attorneys and the controversy it created severely damaged the credibility of the Department of Justice and raised doubts about the integrity of Department prosecutive decisions. 

As the Attorney General was not truthful when he initially represented that U.S. Attorney Berman was “stepping down,” this corrupt firing cannot be explained by cause and gives the impression that the President interfered in ongoing criminal investigations into himself and his associates. To help restore confidence in and prevent further abuses to the administration of justice, the American people deserve to know the truth.

Sincerely, 

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