On Monday Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany admitted that Donald Trump was directly involved in the firing of US Attorney Geoffrey Berman. Trump had previously claimed that he was in no way involved in Berman’s removal, which took place over the weekend.
On Monday, from the White House, McEnany stated that Trump was “involved in the sign-off capacity” as she attempted to explain Berman’s removal as a simple swap that would allow Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to take over the post.
Trump and Clayton had previously discussed him taking over the job.
Trump and Clayton had met before Berman’s removal and Trump had asked him if he would be interested in the job during his potential second term. It is important to note that Clayton has zero experience as a litigator or prosecutor.
Clayton told Trump that he wanted to move back to New York and expressed interest in the position. When he expressed interest, Clayton believed the job would only be if Trump won a second term. He was then contacted that the situation had “accelerated” and would soon be announced.
During her statements on Monday, McEnany could not fully explain why Berman was dismissed before Clayton was confirmed by the Senate. She only stated that “there would be an interim US attorney in the post.”
“The hope is Clayton will be confirmed,” McEnany said.
Berman’s removal came just one day after he refused Attorney General Barr’s request that he step down. came a day after he refused Attorney General William Barr’s request that he resigns. Barr penned a letter to Berman on Saturday telling him that Trump had agreed to remove him and conceded that Berman’s deputy would succeed him.
“Unfortunately, with your statement of last night, you have chosen public spectacle over public service,” Barr wrote in his letter. “Because you have declared that you have no intention of resigning, I have asked the President to remove you as of today, and he has done so.”
Barr offered no justification as to why he was forcing Berman out.
After Barr’s letter became public Donald Trump told reporters outside the White House “That’s his department, not my department.” He then added: “I’m not involved.”