Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee released their own annotated version of a transcript of lawmakers’ interview with fired U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman Monday, refuting claims made by Democrats charging the Attorney General William Barr of unethical and potentially unlawful conduct.
“Chairman Nadler and Committee Democrats remain obsessed with attacking the President and Attorney General for political gain,” committee Republicans wrote. “This singular obsession has clouded their judgement and colored their opinions.”
Last month, Berman was fired from his role as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York after he refused to transition to a new role following Barr’s attempts to replace him. Berman and House Democrats allege Barr placed undue pressure on Berman to step aside with an illegally apparent quid quo pro, a seemingly favorite charge among Democrats used to slander their opponents.
Berman says Barr pushed the attorney to take a job in the Justice Department’s Civil Division because “the role would be a good resume builder” and would also assist Berman in creating a “book of business” when he returned to private life. When Berman showed an unwillingness to leave the Manhattan post, Barr threatened to fire him.
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House Republicans made four primary points in their Monday memo refuting the Democratic narrative:
I. Berman stubbornly resisted the Attorney General’s attempts as an amicable transition for Berman out of his position in favor of a Senate-confirmed United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
II. Berman did not testify that any specific wrongdoing, misconduct, or other impropriety occurred during his dismissal by the Attorney General
III. Berman believed himself to be independent of supervision from superior officers in the Executive Branch and immune from removal from his position
IV. Berman’s purported concerns about the Attorney General’s actions are unfounded, vague, and lacking specific evidence.
Read the Republican memo here: