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Geoffrey Berman, a powerful US lawyer who investigated Trump’s colleagues, refused to back down after Barr tried to push him out



'Good for him': Bharara on US attorney's refusal to step down

In an extraordinary statement sent about an hour after Barr said Berman would leave the office, Berman said he had found out about his departure from the press release.

“I have not resigned, and do not have the intention to resign, my position, where I was appointed by the United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York. I will resign when the nominee is appointed by the Senate,” Berman said. “Until then, our investigation will move forward without delay or disruption.”

The impasse opened a new crisis in the Department of Justice, placed the leadership of the most prominent federal prosecutors office outside Washington in a dangerous position and again raised questions about Barr’s willingness to direct the department to fit in with Trump’s political agenda.

Berman’s denial occurred about an hour after the Justice Department announced Trump intended to nominate Jay Clayton, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who had never been a prosecutor.

A Justice Department official told CNN that Berman was offered other positions at Justice, including the head of the civil division, where assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt suddenly announced his departure this week. Berman refused.

A second source familiar with the matter said that Berman was asked to resign and refused. Barr asked Berman to resign at a face-to-face meeting in New York on Friday, the source said.

Midnight announcement

Transfer time, announced after 9 p.m. ET, immediately asked questions about the circumstances related to the departure of Berman.

The forced dismissal of Berman is likely to attract attention within the US attorney’s office and among career prosecutors. He has been a US lawyer for Manhattan since 2018, and under his leadership, his office is demanding former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, is investigating Trump’s Trump beliefs Rudy Giuliani and indicting former New York mayor colleagues Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.

Tensions between New York and the Washington office have increased with Berman and Barr colliding with heads over handling a number of cases, including the Turkish bank’s Halkbank indictment.

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Last fall, Department of Justice officials discussed discussing replacing Berman with Ed O’Callaghan, a senior official, but then the prosecutor charged Giuliani’s colleague, a move that seemed to extend Berman’s term.

Trump and Barr have long questioned the handling of various cases by the office, but people close to the office believe a series of very well-known investigations – including Cohen, Giuliani and Jeffrey Epstein – may have prevented Justice officials from pushing Berman out because his departure would inevitably lead to commotion and accusations of political interference. However, over the past few months, largely due to the coronavirus pandemic, the office has had a relatively calm period, and some believe Barr took the opportunity to overthrow Berman.

Preet Bharara, a senior CNN legal analyst who was dismissed by Trump as a US lawyer for the Southern District shortly after Trump took office in 2017, told Don Lemon to CNN that the late-night announcement was “a very unusual thing to do … when there are various kinds of investigations that go round and round. ”

“The president, his colleagues, there may be anger about the way some previous investigations were carried out, in connection with his former lawyer Michael Cohen and others,” he added.

Democrats on Capitol Hill immediately asked for an answer.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said, “Dismissal late on Friday night has the potential to corrupt the legal process. What angers President Trump? Previous actions by the US Attorney General or is this ongoing?”

House Justice Chair Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, said “America is right to expect the worst from Bill Barr, who has repeatedly intervened in criminal investigations on Trump’s behalf,” adding that he would invite Berman to testify.

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Old feud with SDNY

Trump often clashes with the chief prosecutor’s office in New York and faces their investigation. In 2018, Trump criticized after federal agents in New York raided Cohen’s offices, homes, and hotel rooms as part of an investigation by federal prosecutors who were examining a hidden money scheme involving Trump and adult film star Stormy Daniels, calling the search “an attack on our country. “Cohen later pleaded guilty to eight counts, including violations of campaign funds, and involving Trump.
Former Trump national security adviser John Bolton wrote in his upcoming book that in 2018, Trump offered to help Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with a Justice Department investigation into Turkish bank, Halkbank, with relations with Erdogan who allegedly violated US Iran sanctions. Trump, according to Bolton, told his Turkish partner that the Southern District prosecutor “is not his people, but is the people of Obama,” and the problem will be fixed when they are replaced by Trump. At that time, Berman was installed in the New York office.

Before Clayton was nominated to the SEC post by Trump, he was a corporate lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell. If confirmed, Clayton will be the first prosecutor to lead SDNY.

Barr and Clayton have known each other for years, said Justice officials, and Clayton planned to go back to NY. He expressed interest in SDNY’s work, said Justice officials, and Barr agreed.

Barr said Trump had appointed Craig Carpenito, currently US Attorney for the New Jersey District, to act as a United States lawyer for the Southern District of New York until Clayton was confirmed. Carpenito will start the role on July 3.

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This story has been updated to include additional reporting, background information and reactions.

Caroline Kelly from CNN contributed to this report.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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