Geoffrey Berman, who has investigated close allies of President Donald Trump and others, said he won’t step down as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, after Attorney General William Barr said he’d be replaced with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton.
Mr. Berman is “stepping down” after 2½ years in the post, Mr. Barr said in a statement. He gave no further details. But shortly after that statement Mr. Berman fired back with his own on the Southern District of New York’s website.
“I learned in a press release from the Attorney General tonight that I was ‘stepping down’ as United States Attorney,” Mr. Berman said. “I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position, to which I was appointed by the judges of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
“I will step down when a presidentially appointed nominee is confirmed by the Senate,” Mr. Berman said. “Until then, our investigations will move forward without delay or interruption.”
The late Friday evening announcement from Mr. Barr caught many by surprise and raised questions about the move, including from Preet Bharara, Berman’s predecessor whom Mr. Trump fired after he refused to quit.