President Donald Trump on Saturday complicated his legal standing by denying that he had fired Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman.
Barr wrote in a publicly released letter to Berman that, "I have asked the president to remove you as of today, and he has done so."
Trump, shortly afterwards, said, "I'm not involved."
Prett Bharara, who was the SDNY U.S. attorney prior to Berman, noted on Twitter how Trump had screwed up his legal authority with his statement.
"DOJ’s own OLC opinion says that court-appointed US attorneys like Geoff Berman can be fired only by the president, not DOJ," Bharara noted.
"The president just said that he was not involved in the matter of Geoff Berman in SDNY. That means that though both Trump and Barr lie, at least one of them is lying about who is firing Berman," he explained.
Prominent Republican attorney George Conway agreed.
He really is dumber than a bag of rocks. https://t.co/KrInNEg2IY— George Conway (@George Conway) 1592685032.0
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti says Trump's statement means Berman is still the U.S. attorney for SDNY.
If Trump isn’t involved in firing Berman, then it looks like Berman is still the U.S. Attorney. Barr doesn’t have… https://t.co/lieK02mnyT— Renato Mariotti (@Renato Mariotti) 1592685601.0