“Unfortunately, with your statement last night, I chose a public scene on public service,” Barr said in his letter to Berman. “Because you announced that you do not intend to resign, you asked the president to remove you until today, and he did so.”
However, Trump told reporters shortly after the publication of Bar’s speech, “This is his administration, not mys.” He added: “I am not involved.”
Berman is shooting a wonderful 24-hour shooting that included a power struggle over the leadership of the most prominent prosecutor’s office outside Washington, one of whom is a Trump attorney judge, and he is investigating another and has investigated the activities of the president himself.
During a meeting in New York on Friday, Barr asked Berman to resign, but Berman refused, CNN reported, and hours later Barr issued a statement saying Berman was “stepping down.” Two hours later, around 11 p.m. ET on Friday, Berman said he learned of his alleged departure from a press release.
“I have not resigned, nor do I intend to resign, my position, which has been appointed by the US District Court judges for the Southern District of New York. I will step down when your presidential candidate is confirmed by the Senate,” Berman said.
On Saturday morning, with news cameras hidden outside his lower office in Manhattan, Berman entered the building and told reporters, “I issued a statement last night, I have nothing to add to this morning. I am here to do my job.”
Barr’s message on Saturday indicated that “through law enforcement, current Berman deputy, Audrey Strauss, will become an acting US attorney,” and I expect that she will work in that capacity until a permanent successor is appointed. Friday evening, Barr said he intends to run for Berman’s permanent succession, Jay Clayton, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who has never been a public prosecutor.
Republicans on Capitol Hill were stunned by Barr’s efforts late Friday night to search for Berman’s ouster and showed little willingness to confirm a new candidate without Democratic support – meaning there is a real possibility that hindering Clayton’s candidacy and Berman could remain in the post indefinitely .
The fast-moving developments surprised Senate Judge Lindsey Graham, a close ally of Trump and Bar, who said on Saturday he had not been told about an attempt to fire Berman.
In a landmark announcement on Saturday, Graham announced that he would respect the tradition of allowing state senators to sign a replacement for Berman, which means Democrats have a veto to replace a position considered the most powerful American lawyer in the country.
This story was updated with additional developments on Saturday.
David Shortell and CNN Jason Hoffman contributed to this report.