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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.

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

The bomb cyclone and atmospheric river seen via satellite on Sunday. The center of the storm is at the middle of the comma shape, due west of Washington State. (CIRA/RAMMB)

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul for slam on tonight's "Axios on HBO"

Responding to charges by Sen. Rand Paul on Sunday's "Axios on HBO," NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "ABC This Week" that it's "molecularly impossible" for U.S.-funded bat virus research in China to have produced COVID-19.

Why it matters: The issue 0f Wuhan research was reignited on the right last week with a National Institutes of Health letter to Congress disclosing more about the research.

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