Former SDNY chief Geoffrey Berman told Congress 'I decline to answer' in response to 27 questions
United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey S. Berman, DOJ photo.

On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee released a 75-page transcript of former Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman's testimony.


"I decline to answer that question because it is outside of the parameters established for the interview," was a line Berman repeated 27 times in the transcript (PDF).

Berman used the line to refuse discussion about ongoing cases. He refused to describe the "serious concerns" he had about Attorney General Bill Barr.

He used it to refuse to answer why he believes he was removed from his position. He used it to refuse to answer if he had expressed concerns over how cases would be handled were he removed from his job.

He also declined to answer whether he was worried about the "tradition of integrity and independence" at SDNY.

He also declined to answer whether he had been asked to sign a letter criticizing social distancing regulations put in place by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

He used the line to avoid answering questions about a quid pro quo with Turkey.

"Sir, were you ever told that the President was unhappy with you pursuing criminal investigations that in any way related to him?" was another question that Berman refused to answer.

"After you recused yourself, the Southern District indicted Michael Cohen, including charging him with making illegal payments, quote, 'in coordination with and at the direction of individual one.' When asked about this case by the Senate, Barr admitted that individual one refers to the President. Are you aware of the Attorney General's testimony?" was another question he declined to answer.

"Given the President's public comments attacking your office, did you have concerns you would be removed if you continued to pursue cases that the President said he didn't like?" was yet another question he did not answer.

"Had DOJ attempted to influence your investigation of the President's personal attorney's associates?" he also refused to answer.

He also refused to answer multiple questions about the reported investigations into Trump attorney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.