Fomer U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman wrote in a new book that DOJ under Trump pushed his office to pursue criminal cases against former Secretary of State John Kerry and others viewed as political opponents of Trump.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill) announced: “I welcome the investigation,” while emphasizing the conduct that occurred was so outrageous and unprecedented, so there is a pressing need to shed light on it.
Berman, who served as U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) from 2018 until he was forced to resign in 2020, alleges in his new book that his office was pursuing charges stemming from a guilty plea by former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.
The DOJ suggested the SDNY cite Kerry using a statute from 1799 statute that had never been successfully prosecuted, Berman said.
He also cited an investigation into former Trump White House official Stephen Bannon, who was eventually charged and later pardoned before Trump left office.
Durbin wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland and called for the Justice Department to provide documents related to Berman’s claims, specifically items related to Cohen and Kerry.
The allegations levied by Berman, who ultimately left his post after then-Attorney General William Barr told him he had been fired at Trump’s request, present the latest headache for Trump as he preps for a 2024 presidential campaign.
Democrats have been happy to discuss Trump’s handling of classified materials, which is at the center of a DOJ investigation into dozens of documents the former president took with him to his Mar-a-Lago home upon leaving office. The FBI searched the property last month after it was unable to get the materials back from Trump.
FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence on Aug. 8 on suspicions he violated the Espionage Act and committed other crimes including obstruction of justice and criminal handling of government records.
In addition to DOJ´s investigation into documents the former president took to his residence after leaving the office, including over 100 classified documents, the House of Representatives requested an investigation to determine how many government records are still in Trump’s possession.