This past Saturday, President Trump fired U.S. Attorney of Manhattan Geoffrey Berman at the suggestion of Attorney General Bill Barr. Berman refused to step down after Barr issued a statement on Friday that said he would be replaced by Jay Clayton, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The President’s move was met with alarm bells by his critics, who say that Berman is currently leading investigations into Trump’s inner circle, including Trump’s attorney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Giuliani dismissed allegations that Berman was investigating him this past Sunday, telling The Cats Roundtable that the news was a “malicious story put out by an unknown source.”
In regards to firing Berman, Barr said that the U.S. attorney had prioritized “public spectacle over public service.” The Attorney General also appointed the Justice Department’s Inspector General to oversee the New York office’s handling of investigations.
Giuliani agreed with the Attorney General and the President’s decision, saying that Berman was acting on “bad advice” when he refused to step down and that the President’s decision to remove him was “accepted practice in the Justice Department.”
Giuliani also noted that Berman himself was a temporary appointment, and that the President can remove an appointment “to make a change.”
The controversy over the U.S. attorney comes as the country faces ongoing protests and unrest. While many protests have been peaceful, there is growing concern about the ability of law enforcement to keep communities safe.
In Seattle, where protesters and activists have claimed streets surrounding an abandoned police precinct as an “autonomous zone,” one person was killed early this part Saturday, prompting supporters of law enforcement to call for an end to what they see as a flagrant disregard for public safety.
Giuliani called the autonomous zone an “illegal occupation” that “should end now.” He railed against the failure of Seattle’s mayor to prevent what he sees as lawlessness, and blamed a “corrupt press” for painting the scene like a “summer festival.”
“You don’t allow an autonomous zone in your city that is not policed by your police department,” he said.
With the election in November, the debate about law enforcement reform is increasingly being turned into a partisan issue, while simultaneously bridging both sides of the aisle. Trump has shown some support for police reform, but he has also thrown his unwavering support behind a law enforcement community increasingly marginalized by the mainstream conversation seeking to defund the police.
While Giuliani admits that there is an issue with police accountability, he told The Cats Roundtable that the police are there to “save the lives of black people.”
Listen to the interview below