Ousted US prosecutor Berman hired by white-shoe NY law firm

NEW YORK (AP) — Geoffrey S. Berman, the ousted federal prosecutor in Manhattan who led several investigations into President Donald Trump’s allies, has been hired by a white-shoe law firm in New York.

Berman will provide criminal defense in white-collar cases and work on complex commercial litigation at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, the firm announced Tuesday.

The firm is “well known for its cutting-edge counsel to top tier companies and high-profile individuals,” Berman said in a statement.

Fried Frank described Berman as “one of the most respected prosecutors in the United States.”

Berman was pushed out in June as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where he led several investigations with tentacles into Trump’s orbit, including one involving the business dealings of Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal attorney.

The same office prosecuted former Trump attorney and fixer Michael Cohen for campaign finance crimes and two Giuliani associates tied to the investigation that led to Trump’s impeachment investigation. Giuliani has not been charged.

Berman later told the House Judiciary Committee that Attorney General William Barr “repeatedly urged” him to step aside and take a new job heading up the Department of Justice’s Civil Division.

“I told the attorney general that I was not interested,” Berman told the panel. “There were important investigations in the office that I wanted to see through to completion.”

Berman’s removal was decried by some critics as a “Friday night massacre” and fueled longstanding concerns among Democratic lawmakers that the Justice Department had become politicized under Barr.

Berman’s new role as head of Fried Frank’s white-collar practice was previously held by Audrey Strauss, Berman’s successor in the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office. Berman only agreed to step down over the summer after being assured Strauss would be in charge of the office.

Between jobs, Berman has taught as a visiting professor at Stanford Law School.

“It’s been great teaching at my alma mater, even if by Zoom, and as soon as things return to normal, I hope to lecture in person on campus,” he told The Associated Press.

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Associated Press writer Larry Neumeister contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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