February 16, 2020 11:31 am -


Southern District of New York prosecutors believe that their leader, Geoffrey Berman, has defended the office’s relative autonomy, particularly since Barr’s arrival, according to people familiar with the matter.
Barr, these people said, has attempted to micromanage certain cases, asking more questions and for more frequent updates than his predecessors on matters from Berman.
Berman has bristled at those demands, according to these people, and has repeatedly pushed for actions on certain politically sensitive cases in opposition to Justice Department leadership, most notably the indictment in October of the state-owned Turkish bank, Halkbank.
According to a person familiar with the discussions, Barr personally spearheaded an effort last year to negotiate a settlement with the bank that would have allowed it to sidestep an indictment after Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, pressed Trump in a bid to avoid charges. Berman, however, insisted on criminal prosecution, according to the people familiar with the matter.
A spokesman for the Manhattan US attorney’s office declined to comment for this story.

Halkbank was charged in December 2019 with participating in an Iranian sanctions evasion scam. There was some pushback from Halkbank at the time, but no news about an attempt to settle the matter of Barr truing to get former game show host Donald Trump’s authoritarian Turkish pal Erdogan out of hot water.

Nevertheless, one has to ask the question: is Attorney General Bill Barr objectively pro-Iran? it would be irresponsible not to ask!


D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.