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The Gang That Couldn’t Ratfuck Straight


Bill Barr’s announcement of Geoffrey Berman’s resignation before he had actually secured it ended up with Berman’s trusted protege rather than the Trump lackey Barr wanted being ensconced in the SDNY:

And Mr. Trump distanced himself almost immediately from his and Mr. Barr’s decision last week to fire Geoffrey S. Berman as the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, even though he had discussed the move with Mr. Barr and a possible successor to Mr. Berman, according to two people briefed on the deliberations.

Mr. Barr asked Mr. Berman to leave on Friday afternoon, and he announced the prosecutor’s resignation on Friday night after Mr. Berman refused to go, essentially firing him in public. Mr. Berman then publicly declared that he was not going anywhere. Facing a public relations debacle and legal constraints that made it difficult for Mr. Barr to get rid of Mr. Berman, the attorney general was forced to ask the president to step in and officially fire him.

But soon after Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, suggested he would not merely rubber-stamp an administration nominee to replace Mr. Berman, Mr. Trump backed away from the whole affair.

“We spent very little time, we spent very little time talking about it,” he told Fox News on Saturday. “But the president has to sign a document or I guess give the OK.”

The result was that Mr. Barr looked as though he had acted without the full backing of the president. He also ended up agreeing to install Mr. Berman’s deputy, Audrey Strauss, as the acting U.S. attorney instead of his preferred pick, Craig Carpenito, now the top federal prosecutor for New Jersey.

“As attempted power plays go, this was an abject failure and served only to further undermine the credibility of both the attorney general and the president,” said Greg Brower, a former federal prosecutor who once headed the F.B.I.’s congressional affairs office.

It’s pretty impressive to screw up badly enough that Lindsey Graham is willing to take time off from his busy schedule of cleaning Trump’s toilets to solemnly announce that he will be respecting Democratic blue slips in this matter.

Forcing Berman out also ended up stepping on coverage of Trump’s superspreader hate rally:

By the time President Donald Trump was gliding in his helicopter toward Joint Base Andrews on Saturday, destined for what he’d once hoped would be a triumphant packed-to-the-rafters return to the campaign trail, things were already looking bad.Scanning cable news coverage earlier in the day,

Trump was disappointed to see pictures not of massive lines forming outside the Bank of Oklahoma Center in Tulsa but of Geoffrey Berman, the federal prosecutor Trump’s attorney general had attempted unsuccessfully to dismiss the night before, a person familiar with his response said.

Of course, since nobody ended showing up the less hype it received the better CHECKMATE LIBS!

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