Senate to Scrutinize Sacked U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman’s Claim Trump Wielded Justice Dept. Against Critics

The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to conduct a congressional inquiry into claims made by a former top federal prosecutor that Donald Trump attempted to meddle with his office, using the Justice Department to protect himself and pursue his detractors. Geoffrey Berman, who was U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York until mid-2020, when he was fired by Trump, aired his allegations in a new book, excerpts of which were published by The New York Times earlier this month. Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced the body’s intention to probe the alleged “astonishing and unacceptable deviations from the department’s mission to pursue impartial justice” in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland. In an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Monday evening, Berman demurred on commenting on the legality of Trump’s ethics. “But I can tell you, it violated all the norms and traditions of the Department of Justice, which is supposed to be independent from politics,” he said. “Trump turned the department into his own personal law firm.”

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