This is an amazing story. This is likely to drive news coverage for a few days; as Joe Biden might say, it’s a big f[vowel deleted]cling deal. So listen up. The explanation will not take long.
Tonight, word came over the wire that the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Geoff Berman, had resigned. Odd news for a Friday night. Ever hear the phrase Friday night news dump?
Just one leetle problem: Berman says: I resigned?? The hell I did!
NEW: Geoff Berman statement:
“I learned in a press release from the Attorney General tonight that I was ‘stepping down’ as United States Attorney. I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position" pic.twitter.com/L6PQCF9bdU
— erica orden (@eorden) June 20, 2020
And guess what? He’s right. Until Trump gets someone new confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the better argument is that Trump can’t replace him. My favorite law professor at the University of Texas School of Law, Steve Vladeck (narrowly edging out Bobby Chesney; sorry, Bobby!) explains:
Berman is the Acting U.S. Attorney by dint of a *judicial* appointment.
There’s a pretty good argument that, per the plain language of 28 U.S.C. § 546(d), he gets to keep serving in that post until the *vacancy* is filled (through Senate confirmation of a permanent successor). pic.twitter.com/xeRpvMRHWN
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) June 20, 2020
Gabe Malor has an invaluable thread on the whole issue. Who is Trump trying to protect? Best guess is: Rudy “Crazy Eyes” Giuliani:
Which Trump friends are under investigation? Speculation says Giuliani in relation to his Ukraine work.
— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) June 20, 2020
Start the popcorn poppin’, folks. This is going to be a good one.