House Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, rejected committee chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s recent accusation that when Attorney General Bill Barr recommended the termination of Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, it bordered on criminal.
Berman told the House Judiciary Committee last week that when he met with Barr in June, Barr recommended that he resign and take another administration job, warning that if he was fired it would hurt his future employment prospects. Nadler then told reporters what “we don’t know yet is if the attorney general’s conduct is criminal, but that kind of quid pro quo is awfully close to bribery.”
“First of all, Mr. Nadler’s statement is ridiculous,” Jordan told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” in response to the chairman’s remark. He pointed to the lack of discussion regarding cases or President Trump as evidence that Berman’s ouster was not part of any quid pro quo arrangement.
“When we deposed Mr. Berman he said very clearly, we asked him about his meeting with Bill Barr on June 19 in New York, we said did you talk about any cases? No. Did you talk about any suspects? No. Did you talk about any witnesses to any cases? No. Did you talk about the president? No. There was nothing there,” Jordan said. The attorney general and the president of the United States are entitled to have the people they want as U.S. Attorneys across the country, that’s all this was.”
Earlier in Jordan’s conversation with host Maria Bartiromo, the congressman said he is hoping to see developments in Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham’s probe of the Russia investigation’s origins in the near future. Barr had previously said he expects developments at some point this summer, and Jordan expressed a desire to see those who were in leadership positions at the time to be held accountable.
“I’ve said this all along: I think Jim Comey’s the biggest culprit here,” Jordan said. “It was the Comey cabal, this small handful of people at the top of the FBI. And remember, Bill Barr, the first time he testified, said there was a failure of leadership at the upper echelon of the FBI. Comey, McCabe, Baker, Strzok, Page, they all were left or had to be fired as the key people who ran the Clinton investigation and the Trump-Russia investigation. Comey’s the ringleader here; I hope they give him a second look and I hope he is ultimately held accountable.”