Now fired U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) Geoffrey Berman received in 2018 allegations about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden’s actions in Ukraine but he did not follow up, according to Just The News.
The memos obtained by Just The News showed that Ukrainian prosecutors, via American lawyer Bud Cummins, had tried to get in contact with Berman’s office in New York to share evidence that raised concerns about the Bidens’ dealings in Ukraine as well as alleged wrongdoing in the Paul Manafort corruption case.
Cummins, a former U.S. attorney himself, contacted Berman at least five times in October 2018 in order to arrange a meeting with then-Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko.
Just The News reported, “Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko is offering to come to U.S. meet with high-level law enforcement to share the fruits of investigations within Ukraine which have produced evidence of two basic alleged crimes,” Cummins wrote to Berman on Oct. 4, 2018, one day after the two had talked on the phone about the allegations.
The allegations included that Joe Biden had “exercised influence to protect Burisma Holdings” after his son Hunter and his son’s business partner Devon Archer had joined the Ukrainian gas company’s board of directors and “substantial sums of money were paid to them,” Cummins wrote.
“The second allegation above is that the Embassy and FBI willfully pressured Ukrainian officials to falsify evidence to be leaked to the media about Manafort to affect the outcome of the 2016 election,” Cummins wrote to Berman.
However, Cummins’s efforts to have Berman meet with Lutsenko were in vain. “I never heard from them again,” he said. “It was an opportunity for the Justice Department to address these concerns privately, and who knows how history would have turned out had the SDNY simply followed up.”
The development came after Berman’s firing ignited turmoil on Capitol Hill. Attorney General William Barr announced last Friday that Berman would be stepping down from his post at SDNY and the president would nominate Jay Clayton, the current chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to replace him.
But Berman said he had no intention of leaving the job and learned of his “departure” from Barr’s press release. Barr sent a letter to Berman one day later, informing him that he asked President Trump to fire him after his Friday statement.
“I was surprised and quite disappointed by the press statement you released last night. As we discussed, I wanted the opportunity to choose a distinguished New York lawyer, Jay Clayton, to nominate as United States Attorney and was hoping for your cooperation to facilitate a smooth transition,” Barr wrote.
Democrats raged over Berman’s removal, suggesting that the Trump administration is retaliating against him for his office’s investigation of the president’s associates, including his current and former attorneys Rudy Guliani and Michel Cohen.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) announced last week that the committee will immediately open an investigation into the Trump administration’s decision to fire Berman. He confirmed Monday night he plans to issue a subpoena to compel Barr to testify before Congress on July 2.