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Geoffrey Berman, Interim U.S. Attorney for Southern District of New York, recused from Michael Cohen investigation

Geoffrey Berman, Interim U.S. Attorney for Southern District of New York, recused from Michael Cohen investigation

Played no role in raid on Cohen’s law office and seizure of attorney-client files from Trump’s personal attorney.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnKYzoqASsw

Monday, the FBI raided Michael Cohen’s office. Cohen is Trump’s personal attorney.

Now, Geoffrey Berman, the Trump-appointed Interim U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is recused from the Cohen investigation. Berman’s status as a Trump temporary appointee was used to claim that the warrant was not politically motivated.

But now it turns out that Berman had recused himself and had nothing to do with the warrant against Cohen.

Berman was not involved in the decision to raid Cohen’s office, according to ABC News:

ABC News has learned that Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is recused from the Michael Cohen investigation.

Two sources familiar with the matter tell ABC News Berman was not involved in the decision to raid Cohen’s office because of the recusal.

The recusal was approved by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The raid of Cohen’s handled by others in the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and approved by a federal judge.

Berman is a Trump appointee with ties to Rudy Giuliani who donated money to the 2016 Trump campaign.

The U.S. Attorney’s office declined to comment.

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Comments

We are at Def Con 5…

    Ragspierre in reply to rduke007. | April 10, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Why?

      Because we mistrust dirty prosecutors…

        Ragspierre in reply to EBL. | April 10, 2018 at 4:10 pm

        Well, you don’t have enough information to call anybody dirty, much less a prosecutor.

        Wouldn’t that determination take some information? I haven’t seen any here, except for a bunch of gross ASSumptions.

        I seem to recall a lot of people hopping up and down here about Roy Moore deserving due process before people could decide to not to vote for him.

        But that was about a vote. Here, you’re talking about DefCon, like it’s a real crisis.

        It isn’t, and nobody here has the kind of information ACTUALLY needed to even be venting about any of this. ESPECIALLY anything like facts (such as there is not attorney/client privilege in several circumstances).

        Daiwa in reply to EBL. | April 11, 2018 at 1:38 am

        You talking smack about Lavrenti Mueller? Careful…

    UnCivilServant in reply to rduke007. | April 10, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    DEFCON 5 is ‘peacetime’, it’s DEFCON 1 that means ‘Nukes are about to fly’. I don’t think either applies.

I wonder why he recused himself? ABC offered no answers.

    Because like Sessions, his biggest fear in life is having the NYT yell at him. Republicans are such whips and continue to scratch their heads wondering why they get picked on.

    If this has to do with Trump or his campaign then it’s pretty obvious why he’d recuse himself; he’s waiting for Trump to appoint him to the position, so he depends on Trump’s favor and can’t possibly make objective decisions on the matter.

      tlcomm2 in reply to Milhouse. | April 10, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      It would be possible for a fair mind to make objective decisions, but he would not be perceived as being objective by the left if he decided in favor of Trump in this matter. He has less reason to recuse than Rosenstein.

So he ran like a cowardly little b*tch. Sessions 2.0. And the leftist/Democrat (but I repeat myself) has free rein to conduct fishing expeditions like this.

I predict this will end badly for all of us.

regulus arcturus | April 10, 2018 at 1:59 pm

“The recusal was approved by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.”

What if he directed the recusal?

    TX-rifraph in reply to regulus arcturus. | April 10, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    This all seems to be directed by the Central Committee. Perhaps when the USSR collapsed, the Central Committee lived on and evolved. There are two problems that must be fixed:
    a) President HRC was a failure that must be fixed.
    b) The 2A must be repealed. Fixing a) will help fix b).

    The alignment of the MSM, Democrat Party, the GOPe, the deep state, etc. just seems to be beyond mere cooperation. I hope I am wrong.

This is now an irreversible situation and it makes me feel sick to my stomach. The open defiance of and the hatred leading toward the takedown of a legitimately elected US President is sickening

Coloradoopenrange | April 10, 2018 at 2:36 pm

It’s quite baffling that special counsel Mueller has decided to go after President Trump on this front, given that he is not investigating the oligarch’s substantial and decades-long financial and personal relationships with Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Since 2006, Pinchuk has delivered at least $13 million to the Clinton Foundation. From 1994 to 2005, Pinchuk offloaded between $10 million and $25 million to the foundation. He has in the past lent his private plane to Hillary Clinton, according to the New York Times. In 2011, he traveled to California to attend Hillary Clinton’s 65th birthday party. And unlike the donation to then-candidate Trump, some of Pinchuk’s Clinton Foundation contributions were made while Hillary Clinton was serving as secretary of state.

This what Tyranny looks like in the 21 century! This is exactly what the Founding Fathers knew would eventually happen.

Close The Fed | April 10, 2018 at 3:01 pm

Okay, so WHO DID approve it?

Maybe he should have met with Melania just to talk about his grandchildren.

Was just thinking about the leaking that will surely ensue after the raid. Wouldn’t every attorney at every media corp be screaming not to publish? It is sill atty/client privileged info, if it’s leaked they could be held liable in a huuuuge lawsuit. Using it in a court case is extremely rare if not almost impossible. Judges just won’t stand for it. Now imagine a blabber mouth newscaster spewing atty/client privileged info to the masses. I think somebody stepped on a rake.

Recusal. The veneer of lawfulness. How very soothing.

Move along peasants, nothing to see here.

2nd Ammendment Mother | April 10, 2018 at 3:36 pm

Consider all of the business associates of Trump that Mueller now has a list of to torture…. the process is the punishment.

Recused or was recused? Nobody here knows.

More, nobody here knows why.

But that never stops Chicken Littles…

    willow in reply to Ragspierre. | April 10, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    I read somewhere that he donated $5600 to Trump’s presidential campaign and recused himself.

    It was reported in the press as “he was recused”, not “he recused himself”. The passive voice is used when it was done TO him, perhaps by his superiors?

    Of course the press also got it wrong when they touted “It must be OK and legal, because Trump’s own appointee did it. Didn’t stop them from ass-u-ming the most hostile to Trump possibility as not-fake-news and running with it, did they?

    Not too surprising if they also don’t know the true reason and actors in this recusal, but based on “I Hate Trump” being their go-to mode, it’s interesting that they used the most meally-mouthed way of framing it compatible with a forced recusal but giving the impression to uninformed and not-paying-attention mass media consumers otherwise.

    It’s almost like watching a Clinton lie by careful framing of the actual words used so as to give the impression of the opposite that was actually said.

      MarkSmith in reply to BobM. | April 10, 2018 at 5:52 pm

      Better watch out the Jacobin Morris thinks you are yelling the sky is falling.

      Milhouse in reply to BobM. | April 10, 2018 at 7:09 pm

      It was reported in the press as “he was recused”, not “he recused himself”. The passive voice is used when it was done TO him, perhaps by his superiors?

      No, I don’t think the language is that precise. “Was recused” can mean by himself or by others.

        BobM in reply to Milhouse. | April 10, 2018 at 9:11 pm

        So if Milhouse “was punched” or “was fired” or “was expelled from school” it is commonly understood that he did any of these things to himself?

        Nope.

        Milhouse, please stop punching yourself :).

          Milhouse in reply to BobM. | April 11, 2018 at 3:26 am

          Recusal is not an active verb, it’s a state of being. X is recused from the case. Whether he placed himself in that state or someone else did so isn’t stated or implied. “Recused himself” is more precise, because it means “placed himself in recusal”.

          BobM in reply to BobM. | April 11, 2018 at 12:42 pm

          Yes, recusal is not a verb, but recused is, and can be used as such. That it can also be a description is because English is the language that mugs other languages for their wallets instead of making up new words itself, like the French Language Police do, or the Germans with their conglomeration vocabulary of glued together words….

          But you’re avoiding the actual point, the press is phrasing their reports in such a way that it’s not clear wether he recused himself or his bosses recused him. They got the initial facts wrong in such a way as to imply that already cooperating lawyers getting raided and having their work product and confidential files seized wholesale is a nothing burger, since the fake-news was that a Trump appointment signed off it it. Now Take Two is implying that it’s still a nothing burger, since he (they imply) voluntarily stepped aside to let someone else do the dirty deed, meaning he STILL didn’t object.

          Alan Dershowitz is certainly not of my own personal persuasion, but he is a Liberal in the classical sense who refuses to bend his personal and legal beliefs for popularity or political convince. As such, he of course is a heretic who must pay for his heresies in the current Liberal climate. He believes that they’ve gone too far, that trusting the FBI/Mueller to police themselves in this matter so as to not illegally fish hunt is bad precident and bad law. When you’re a Lib and you’ve lost Dershowitz, the chance of what you’re doing actually being legal is pretty slim.

    Mac45 in reply to Ragspierre. | April 10, 2018 at 10:09 pm

    I actually agree with you that at this point we do not know why or who recused Berman and so can not state, with any certainty that this is indicative of some malicious motivation.

    It would be much easier to agree with you if you were not the one who seemingly believes everything every woman in the world claims, without any corroborating evidence.

    But, the recusal is suspicious, until a reasonable explanation is presented.

      Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | April 11, 2018 at 3:27 am

      It would be much easier to agree with you if you were not the one who seemingly believes everything every woman in the world claims, without any corroborating evidence.

      That’s not true. For instance Hillary Clinton is a woman, and yet if she were to say the sun is shining, Rags would look out the window to check before agreeing.

legalizehazing | April 10, 2018 at 3:44 pm

The whole special console has reeked of corruption and lawlessness. But there is a justification for the wanton use of power if there were a shred of evidence. I haven’t seen any.

What remains without the evidence is a cruel and excessive(out of bounds) use of power against a duely elected president.

Appears treasonous to me.

Along with everyone else here, I don’t know precisely what’s going on. But, politically, this had better be about criminal behavior so obvious and odious that the general public will agree it was worth raiding one of a sitting president’s private attorneys, taking materials pertinent to attorney-client communications. If it’s some kind of process “crime,” they’ve gone way too far.

    MarkSmith in reply to tarheelkate. | April 10, 2018 at 5:51 pm

    Why would you think that? Look at what they were doing with the FISA court, Consumer Protection Agency and Scheme team. They are par for the course on this.

Awful lot of comments have but one downvote, yet one has one upvote but 9 downvotes. Gee, wonder who that could be?

Let me get this straight. Someone you know donated to Trump therefore you recuse yourself? Maybe he was recused by someone else so the normal ratbags who were their before him get to make the decisions. Sessions, anyone?

    Milhouse in reply to davod. | April 10, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    Not “someone you know”. You donated. More importantly, you are waiting for Trump to appoint you to an important position, to one of the most prestigious US Attorney slots in the country. If you anger him he will not appoint you. How could you be objective in such circumstances?

      Mac45 in reply to Milhouse. | April 10, 2018 at 10:18 pm

      Think about this for a second. You are waiting for an appointment to a prestigious position. Do you anger the man who is going to appoint you by recusing yourself from the investigation? Why? Would turn around and appoint a person who had just wimped out and, essentially, abandoned his post, without reason? At least Sessions claimed that he was a potential witness in the Russia/Trump Collusion investigation. As far as we know, there was no such “conflict” between Berman and Cohen. At this point, Trump has nothing to lose by taking all of the officials who are recusing themselves in these investigations and removing them from their positions and put in people who can handle the job.

        Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | April 11, 2018 at 3:30 am

        The point is you have no ethical choice but to recuse yourself. Sure, it’s likely to anger Trump and lose you the appointment, but that only makes your duty to do it even more clear.

          Mac45 in reply to Milhouse. | April 11, 2018 at 11:05 am

          Oh, please. You can’t have it both ways. Either Berman is recusing himself because he doesn’t want to anger Trump or he isn’t. Which is it? As for ethics? Berman has the ethical obligation to make sure that a seizure involving the confidential legal records of the sitting President of the United States is handled properly and legally, with no taint of politics.

          Berman did not resign his post. This means that he is still in the same position to influence any investigation. So, simply saying he is recused is a sham. In this case, it is nothing more than an attempt to cover his a**. See, if there was really any there there, if the seizure was entirely above board and Cohen can be proven guilty of these “heinous” crimes, then Berman would be a hero who put his duty above politics. If, on the other hand, this is another criminal nothing burger, if the seizure overstepped the bounds of legal normalcy and Cohen skates, Berman would be blamed for obstructing the investigation to protect Trump.

          Ethics? More like political survival.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | April 12, 2018 at 6:25 am

          Where do you get off doubting Berman’s ethics? Do you have any basis for believing him to be such an unethical person as you accuse him of being? Or do you just not believe ethics exist, and everyone always acts only out of self-interest?

          He didn’t recuse himself for fear of angering Trump, he recused himself, or was told to by others, because his dependence on Trump’s goodwill makes it impossible for him to make objective decisions on this case, and therefore he has the clear duty to stay out of it no matter how angry this makes Trump. If it means he loses the appointment, then that’s too bad, but he has no choice. Not recusing in order to avoid angering Trump would just prove that he’s unfit for the position.

Does everyone who has met Donald Trump in the last 5 years need to lawyer up ?

    Milhouse in reply to dmi60ex. | April 10, 2018 at 7:31 pm

    That seems to be the plan. The Israeli legal establishment (which is completely controlled by the left) has been running that strategy with Netanyahu, making it expensive to associate with him, so that he’ll be isolated.

      openeyes in reply to Milhouse. | April 11, 2018 at 1:28 pm

      There is a joke I heard of investigation file 7000 – that Netanyahu’s kindergarten teacher gave him a cookie once…

    openeyes in reply to dmi60ex. | April 11, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    Why 5 years? By the time this is done his classmates in the military school he went to as a kid will need to retain counsel. Or maybe the midwife who delivered him…

inspectorudy | April 10, 2018 at 8:52 pm

One thing that is being overlooked here is that this is not a Mueller raid. This is an FBI raid approved by Rosenstein. Who signed off on the final raid warrant is still unknown but this stinks to high heaven. This is called the “Justice” system?

    Mueller is not the evil genius behind the curtain. he is just another stalking horse. Now, we have a second lawfare front opened up against Trump. And, there is one common denominator in all of this, Rosenstein. Kinda makes one wonder who, or what, he is fronting for.

    Rudy, in what language does “based on information provided by Mueller” mean “Mueller wasn’t involved”?

    No, it IS “a Mueller raid”. The FBI did this because mueller “referred it to them” – in other words they did it at his request. The apparent idea is that the seized docs will be “black boxed” – that is the FBI will examine all the docs, including the ones that if Mueller’s team had access to would kill any investigation because of legal protections for lawyer/client. Then they will pass on any docs not so covered.

    This is possIbly justified if one assumes, of course, that you believe the FBI (and Mueller) are acting in good faith and not pursuing unintended process violations, other questionable violations (Logan Act, really?), violations predating Trumps campaign, and/or violations having nothing to do with any Russian collusion or any action of Trump himself.

    Apparently Russian collusion is a flop, so they’re looking for any other things that might get Trump on – no matter how unrelated to the reason a special consul was set up in the first place. As the head of the KGB is quoted as saying once “Point out any man and I WILL find a crime”. There’s a book out titled “3 Felonies a Day” which explains that US law is so convoluted today that the average schmuk is inadvertadely committing that on average. Someone with Trump’s net worth and a business man? Probably an order of magnitude greater if you really want to go Full Salem Witch Hunt on his ass.

    This whole investigation has nothing to do with Russian interference in US elections anymore, at this point it’s a campaign to reverse the results of an election where the loser had the overwhelming support of the people running the “investigation”.

Rats, too, will recuse themselves during a mutiny.

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