Well, it wasn’t quite a Friday Night Massacre but Friday night was pretty weird. Attorney General Bill Barr released a statement late Friday saying Geoffrey Berman, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, was stepping down. But a couple of hours later, Berman released his own statement, saying he wasn’t quitting and he was surprised to see the attorney general claim he was quitting. Then, on Saturday, Bill Barr announced that the president had dismissed Berman and Berman agreed to admit he had been fired, but not before a key concession from Barr: pending the confirmation of a new US attorney, SDNY will be run by Audrey Strauss, Berman’s trusted deputy. What’s going on here? Is this retribution for something Berman did or something he was about to do?
Then: a divided three-judge panel of the DC Circuit ordered (while we were recording this episode) Long Suffering Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan to dismiss the case against Michael Flynn, the president’s former national security adviser, without any further hearings. Ken and Josh speed-read what the judges wrote and talk about what happens next.
Finally: remember John Bolton’s book? The judge blocked the Trump administration’s request to stop publication of the book, essentially because the horse is already out of the barn, but Bolton might have more trouble ahead with some of the content.