A former federal prosecutor fired by former President Trump on Monday condemned what he described as “unprecedented” political interference in his work through the Trump administration.
Former U.S. Lawyer Geoffrey Berman, who served as the highest federal prosecutor in Manhattan, mentioned on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that the Trump-era Justice Division pressured him to indict former Obama White Home counsel Greg Craig earlier than the midterm elections and prosecute former Secretary of State John Kerry.
“I’ve by no means seen something like that earlier than, and I used to be a junior prosecutor within the Southern District within the early 90s and I’d by no means seen something like that,” Berman instructed host George Stephanopolous.
“Individuals who have been within the workplace for 40 years by no means noticed something like that. It was unprecedented and scary,” Berman added.
The interview got here someday earlier than Berman is ready to launch his e-book, titled “Holding the Line.”
Trump fired Berman in June 2020 after he refused to resign, resulting in what Berman described on Monday as a “noisy” departure that included him issuing a press launch. Then-Lawyer Normal William Barr accused Berman of selecting “public spectacle over public service” on the time.
Berman’s firing got here after he started investigating Michael Cohen, Trump’s former private lawyer and so-called fixer. Cohen pleaded responsible in 2018 to marketing campaign finance fraud and different fees.
On ABC, Berman mentioned the Justice Division tried to get him to take away mentions of “Particular person-1” within the charging paperwork, which had been references to Trump.
“They had been unsuccessful in that enterprise, they usually had been unsuccessful in each try to politically intervene with our workplace,” Berman mentioned. “We held the road in each occasion.”
He additionally mentioned Trump’s Justice Division pressured him to prosecute John Kerry for his Iran-related conduct.
The strain got here someday after Trump issued two tweets attacking Kerry over the Iran nuclear deal, which he helped negotiate as Obama’s secretary of State, Berman mentioned. Trump claimed Kerry violated the Logan Act, which bans non-public residents from negotiating with overseas governments with out permission from the administration.
Across the similar time, Trump withdrew the USA from the settlement.
“The statute they wished us to make use of was enacted in 1799 and had by no means been efficiently prosecuted,” Berman mentioned on ABC. “So in about 220 years this felony statute was on the books, there have been no convictions.”