Attorney General William Barr admitted on Thursday that he was aware that Steve Bannon was under investigation for fraud when he fired U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, the top federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York.
Following Bannon’s arrest this week, Barr told the Associated Press that he knew of the investigation into President Donald Trump’s former campaign chief when he ousted Berman. The case is expected to be handled by SDNY prosecutors.
“Attorney General Bill Barr tells @AP he was first made aware of the Bannon investigation several months ago but has not received regular briefings on the case,” AP Justice Department correspondent Mike Balsamo revealed on Twitter. “He emphasized the president had opposed the work of ‘We Build The Wall’ and Bannon is a former Trump aide.”
Barr fired Berman in June after the prosecutor refused to resign.
“Because you have declared that you have no intention of resigning, I have asked the President to remove you as of today, and he has done so,” Barr wrote in a letter to Berman at the time.
It was not immediately clear how Berman’s firing has impacted the Southern District’s case against Bannon.