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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Berman in October 2019 in New York City. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images

Geoffrey Berman, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, is scheduled to testify to the House Judiciary Committee next week on the circumstances of his forced resignation, Politico reports, citing a congressional aide.

Why it matters: As the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, Berman oversaw high-profile cases that worried and angered President Trump and his inner circle, including an investigation into his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. His removal has added to allegations by Democrats that Attorney General Bill Barr has politicized the Justice Department under President Trump.

Catch up quick: Berman's ouster drew national attention after he disputed a Friday night statement from Attorney General Bill Barr that claimed he would be stepping down and that Trump would nominate SEC chairman Jay Clayton to replace him.

  • Berman arrived at work the next day, prompting the attorney general to release a letter informing him that President Trump had fired him at Barr's request.
  • Trump told reporters that day that he was not involved in the decision to fire Berman, saying: "Well that's all up to the attorney general. Attorney General Barr is working on that. That's his department, not my department. But we have a very capable attorney general, so that's really up to him. I'm not involved."
  • Berman eventually agreed to resign after Barr said that he would be replaced in an acting capacity by a top deputy at the SDNY, rather than a political appointee.

What's next: The hearing on July 9 will be a closed-door, transcribed interview, Politico reports. Barr himself plans to testify before the committee for a general oversight hearing on July 28.

Go deeper: Former Roger Stone prosecutor testifies DOJ intervened in case for political purposes

Go deeper

Updated Oct 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trumpworld coronavirus tracker

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

An outbreak of COVID-19 has struck the White House — including the president himself — just weeks before the 2020 election.

Why it matters: If the president can get infected, anyone can. And the scramble to figure out the scope of this outbreak is a high-profile, high-stakes microcosm of America's larger failures to contain the virus and to stand up a contact-tracing system that can respond to new cases before they have a chance to become outbreaks.

Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Dave Lawler, author of World
51 mins ago - World

Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

Putin takes a call in 2017. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies, AP reports.

The state of play: Biden also planned to raise arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki, who said the call took place while she was delivering a press briefing. Psaki added that a full readout will be provided later Tuesday.

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