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There are three possibilities why Barr fired SDNY’s Geoffrey Berman — and none of them are good: legal analysts

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Writing in The Atlantic this Monday, Quinta Jurecic and Benjamin Wittes ask why Attorney General Bill Barr would fire a federal prosecutor just 5 months before the 2020 election. The reason behind abrupt dismissal of the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoffrey Berman, is still a mystery, but Jurecic and Wittes have a few ideas why it may have happened.

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One explanation could be simply patronage.

“Trump had decided to appoint Jay Clayton—currently the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission—to the job. Clayton, according to The New York Times, had recently golfed with the president at Trump’s club in Bedminster, New Jersey, and had expressed interest in the U.S. attorney job,” the pair writes. “So one possibility is that Berman’s removal was merely an effort to clear the path for a person friendly with the president to get a job he wanted. In support of this possibility is Barr’s claim in his letter to Berman that he offered Berman other possible senior jobs—jobs that would arguably be promotions, such as running the SEC or the Justice Department’s Civil Division.”

There’s also the possibility that Berman’s removal was retaliatory. Although he was recused, Berman’s office was responsible for the prosecution of Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

But ultimately, the most sinister possibility was that it was done to impede an investigation. Berman’s office is currently investigating Rudy Giuliani. “The most acute concern, therefore, is that the Berman firing was not retaliation for something he had already done, but an effort to prevent his office from doing something in the future.”

Read the full piece over at The Atlantic.

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White House ripped for leaking their ‘Tyrion Lannister move’ — on how they’re going to stop the leaks

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President Donald Trump's administration received harsh criticism after Axios reported on the scheme the White House is using to try to identify leakers.

"President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions," Axios reported Sunday.

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Here is the trick Trump’s chief of staff is using to try to identify officials who are not loyal enough

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President Donald Trump's fourth White House chief of staff has admitted to lying to the workforce he oversees in an attempt to catch White House whistleblowers, according to a new report.

"President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions," Axios reported Sunday.

"This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics," Axios explained. "So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak."

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2020 Election

Trump ripped as a ‘traitor’ by veterans for his mask photo-op at Walter Reed Hospital

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The veteran advocacy organization Vote Vets on Sunday blasted President Donald Trump for holding a photo-op at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

After a round of golf on Saturday, Trump traveled to the hospital to be photographed by the press pool wearing a mask, which was a first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vote Vets, which says it has raised over $120 million since being founded in 2006 and made over 50 million voter contacts, released a new video on Trump's visit.

The ad says it shows "what wounded warriors see when Trump comes for a photo-op."

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