U.S. President Donald Trump and his attorney general Bill Barr ran into a brick wall on Friday after a New York attorney Geoffrey Berman refused to quit.
At least for now.
Berman of the Southern District of New York oversaw probes into Trump associates.
He ran the probe that sent Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen to prison.
He is reportedly investigating his current personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani.
On Friday Trump was said to have nominated Jay Clayton, chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, to succeed Berman, according to the White House.
And Barr followed up with an appreciation letter to Berman.
“I appreciate his service to the Department of Justice and our nation, and I wish him well in the future,” U.S. Attorney General William Barr said in a press release.
However, in a stunning statement, Berman said he has not resigned and that he has “no intention of resigning.”
“I learned in a press release from the Attorney General tonight I was ‘stepping down’ as United States Attorney,” Berman said.
“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.”
Besides Cohen and Giuliani, Berman’s office also subpoenaed Trump’s inaugural committee over an investigation into potential illegal contributions from foreigners and charged former Congressman Chris Collins, a Trump ally, with insider trading.
Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, accused Barr of repeatedly interfering “in criminal investigations on Trump’s behalf.”
“We have a hearing on this topic on Wednesday.
“We welcome Mr. Berman’s testimony and will invite him to testify,” Nadler, a Democrat, tweeted.
Clayton is a member of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, the Financial Stability Oversight Council, and the Financial Stability Board.
He also participates on the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions.
The Southern District of New York is among the most prominent districts in the United States.