U.S. Attorney General William Barr deserves to be impeached over the firing of a federal prosecutor whose office had been investigating President Donald Trump's personal lawyer but the effort would be a "waste of time," a leading Democratic lawmaker said on Sunday.
The head of the House Judiciary Committee - Jerrold Nadler said on Sunday that while U.S. Attorney General William Barr deserves to be impeached over the firing of a federal prosecutor whose office had investigated President Donald Trump's lawyer - the effort would be a quote "waste of time." In an interview on the CNN program "State of the Union," the top Democrat said the Republican-led Senate would block any such effort, but added that quote "we have other ways of getting at this." Nadler said his panel would investigate Trump's firing of prosecutor Geoffrey Berman on Saturday after an extraordinary standoff over the independence of one of the country's most important federal prosecutor's offices.
Since he was appointed in January 2018, Berman's office oversaw the prosecution of Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer, indicted two associates of Rudy Giuliani and launched a probe into Giuliani in connection with his efforts to dig up dirt on Trump's political adversaries in Ukraine.
The dispute with Berman began late Friday when Barr announced Berman was stepping down and would be replaced by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton.
Berman refused to step down until the Senate confirmed his successor, and said his office's investigations would continue.
Only after Barr backtracked from his plan to hand pick the acting U.S. attorney, allowing Berman's deputy Audrey Strauss to take the reins, did Berman agree to step down on Saturday.
Nadler said he has asked Berman to testify in the Judiciary Committee's investigation of political interference at the Justice Department.
The panel is holding a hearing on Wednesday with whistleblowers from the department.
Nadler did not know if Berman would be there that day, but said quote, "I'm sure he will testify."
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