‘There is no legitimate basis [to] compel [Barr’s] testimony at this time…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Before he was ousted, Geoffrey Berman, the insubordinate former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, refused to sign a letter from the Justice Department criticizing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for his unfair treatment of religious groups.
The letter, sent to Berman by DOJ supervisors, called out de Blasio’s double standard, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Democratic mayor openly supported mass protests while sending law enforcement after Jewish religious ceremonies, said the letter.
Berman, however, refused to sign it, objecting to its assertion that de Blasio had treated religious groups unfairly and arguing that it was nothing more than a political stunt.
This incident was just one of many in which Berman and the DOJ clashed. Attorney General William Barr had already viewed Berman as stubborn and difficult to work with, according to three sources.
But DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec insisted that Berman’s refusal to sign the letter did not factor into Barr’s decision to get rid of Berman.
Barr did not even know Berman had refused to sign it, she said. However, two people familiar with the matter told the Journal that the incident added to Barr’s existing frustration with Berman.
Barr announced last week that Berman would be resigning from his position. However, Berman publicly objected and refused to step down voluntarily, prompting President Donald Trump to fire him. As a result, congressional Democrats have accused Barr of politicizing the DOJ.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., is even preparing to subpoena Barr to testify before the committee and explain why Berman was ousted.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, pushed back and argued that “there is no legitimate basis” for the House to “compel [Barr’s] testimony at this time.”