Attorney General William Barr announced late Friday evening that he had nominated a Trump appointee to replace the Manhattan U.S. Attorney who had investigated and convicted some of President Donald Trump’s closest associates. It was a shocking announcement even to the prosecutor he intended to replace, Geoffrey Berman.
“I learned in a press release from the Attorney General tonight that I was ‘stepping down’ as United States Attorney,” Berman said in a statement. “I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position, to which I was appointed by the Judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. I will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate.”
That came hours after Barr’s surprise Friday evening announcement that Jay Clayton, appointed by President Donald Trump as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2017, would be nominated as Berman’s replacement as Southern District U.S. Attorney, with District of New Jersey U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito serving as the acting SDNY U.S. Attorney “effective July 3.” Barr said that “Craig will work closely with the outgoing United States Attorney to ensure a smooth transition.”