Sep 12, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Senate to investigate allegation Trump tried to influence prosecutor's office

Former President Trump in Harlingen, Texas, in 2021. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The Senate Judiciary Committee announced Monday night it will investigate allegations that the Trump Justice Department sought to use the U.S. attorney's office to support the-then president and pursue his critics.

Driving the news: Committee chair Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting documents related to allegations outlined in a new book by former top Manhattan federal prosecutor Geoffrey Berman, whom Trump fired in June 2020.

What they're saying: "These reported claims indicate astonishing and unacceptable deviations from the department’s mission to pursue impartial justice, which requires that its prosecutorial decisions be free from political influence," said Durbin in the letter.

  • "They also compound the already serious concerns raised by then-Attorney General [Bill] Barr’s 2020 efforts to replace Mr. Berman with a Trump loyalist."
  • "If accurate, Mr. Berman's claims indicate multiple instances of political interference in the Department’s investigative and prosecutorial decisions."

What we're watching: Durbin has requested the Justice Department provide the committee with multiple documents and communications in relation to the allegations by Oct. 3.

  • Representatives for Trump and Barr could not immediately be reached for comment on the Judiciary panel's announcement, first reported by the New York Times.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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