US President Donald Trump has relieved Jeffrey Berman of the New York Southern District Attorney, who oversaw investigations against a number of people close to the president, said Attorney General William Barr on Saturday.
“I was surprised and greatly disappointed with your statement in the press last night. Since you stated that you did not intend to resign, I asked the president to dismiss you from today, and he did,” CBS quotes Barr Berman as saying.
The day before, the head of the Justice Ministry had already announced the departure of Berman, but he made a response statement, saying that he did not intend to do this.
According to CNBC, Berman’s place as interim will be taken by Deputy Federal Attorney Audrey Strauss.
Berman led the investigation into Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws and mediating the “silence payments” that Trump made to porn actress Stormy Daniels. In addition, Cohen admitted to tax evasion and false testimony to Congress. In mid-December 2018, he was sentenced to three years in prison.
Former Trump lawyer was sent to Otisville Prison in May 2019, which, according to Forbes, is one of America’s ten “most comfortable prisons.”
Berman also dealt with the case against Lev Parnassus and Igor Fruman, who are accused in the United States of illegally donating to American politicians on behalf of unnamed Ukrainian officials and a Russian businessman.
According to a number of media reports, the headquarters of US President Donald Trump could also be the recipient of the money. In addition, it is alleged that Parnassus and Fruman helped Trump’s lawyer Rudi Giuliani conduct his own investigation into the activities of former vice president Joe Biden and his family in Ukraine. Parnassus also said that with Trump’s knowledge, he helped remove Marie Jovanovic from the US ambassador in Kiev. In evidence, he released an audio recording of a conversation with Trump in 2018.
In addition, Berman was conducting an investigation into Trump’s inaugural committee, and also launched an investigation against Giuliani.