(FreedomBeacon.com)- According to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the former president’s Justice Department may have attempted to utilize the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office to pursue his detractors while shielding his loyalists.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) wrote in a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland that the reported allegations indicate astonishing and unacceptable deviations from the Department’s mission to pursue impartial justice, which requires that its prosecutorial decisions be free from political influence.
Geoffrey Berman, a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York who worked for two years under Trump and earlier assisted on his 2016 campaign and transition team, is the subject of charges in a new book, according to a New York Times report cited by Durbin.
Berman asserted that Trump appointees exerted pressure on the office to pursue Trump’s detractors and to defend Trump and his loyalists, and he attempted to thwart those initiatives.
Berman has claimed that Trump’s Justice Department pressured him to indict Gregory Craig, the White House counsel for former President Obama, even after the Manhattan office found no reason to charge him. Berman also claims that former U.S. Attorney General William Barr fired him because his work threatened Trump’s chances for reelection.
Berman has also claimed that he was under pressure to criminally probe former Secretary of State John Kerry on a media tour before publishing his new book.
Durbin contends that Department officials pressured his office to remove references to President Trump from the charging document for Michael Cohen, his lawyer, and subsequent attempts by Attorney General Barr himself to reverse Mr. Cohen’s conviction and stop related investigations completely.
Regarding Barr’s plans to “replace Mr. Berman with a Trump loyalist in 2020,” the claims “compound the already substantial concerns,” Durbin said.
Durbin asserted that, if accurate, Mr. Berman’s claims indicate numerous instances of political interference in the Department’s investigative and prosecutorial decisions. Durbin asked Garland for several documents and communications between the
Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
“Holding the Line,” a new book by Berman, will be released on Tuesday.