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Congressman Heck on Attempted Firing of US Attorney Geoffrey Berman

Date: June 20, 2020
Location: Olympia, WA

Congressman Denny Heck (WA-10) released the following statement in response to the attempted ouster of U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman by President Trump and Attorney General Barr:

In trying to oust U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, President Trump is attempting to remove another public servant who is standing for the rule of law. There is an unmistakable pattern to the President's actions, from when he removed Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch because she would not bend to his corrupt schemes in Ukraine;

to his retribution against Colonel Alexander Vindman, who courageously did his duty and upheld his oath by testifying to Congress;

to his firing of Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, for his daring to speak the truth;

to his firing of Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson, for doing what the law required of him;

to his reassigning of Department of Defense Acting Inspector General Glenn Fine, for his statutorily mandated oversight of coronavirus relief funds;

to his reassigning of Department of Health and Human Services Acting Inspector General Christi Grimm, for her report in which she correctly stated that hospitals did not have enough coronavirus tests and personal protective equipment;

to his removal of Department of State Inspector General Steve Linick, who was conducting multiple investigations into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo;

to his dismissal of Department of Transportation Acting Inspector General Mitch Behm, who was investigating Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao;

to his most recent attempt to fire U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, who is overseeing investigations into wrongdoing by President Trump and his closest allies.

With one exception, each of the above public servants was removed late on a Friday so that President Trump could mitigate negative press coverage. And in each case, President Trump was aided by Attorney General Bill Barr, who has enabled the President's misconduct by twisting the rule of law into whatever shape the President desires.

We are now learning more details about Ambassador John Bolton's account of President Trump's corruption and deceit. I wish Mr. Bolton had found the courage displayed by others in his office and brought these facts to Congress when we asked him to testify in order to render a decision on the President's abuse of his power. Now we are witnessing the further degradation of the rule of law, just as the House managers predicted on the Senate floor earlier this year.

Congressman Heck is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and participated in the House impeachment investigation into President Trump. His questioning of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch can be found here. Heck is also a member of the House Financial Services Committee and the Joint Economic Committee.