Jay Clayton, Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, testifies during the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on “Oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission” on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
In a stunning Friday night announcement, the U.S. Justice Department said it will replace the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, Geoffrey Berman, with the current Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton.
There had been no previous indication that Berman was leaving as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, voluntarily or otherwise.
Berman, who had been in that post for two-and-a-half years, was still reportedly overseeing a criminal investigation into President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, a former New York City mayor, and himself the former U.S. attorney for the SDNY.
In a statement Friday, Attorney General William Barr said, “I thank Geoffrey Berman, who is stepping down.”
Barr also said, “I am pleased to announce that President Trump intends to nominate Jay Clayton, currently the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to serve as the next United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.”
” For the past three years, Jay has been an extraordinarily successful SEC Chairman, overseeing efforts to modernize regulation of the capital markets, protect Main Street investors, enhance American competitiveness, and address challenges ranging from cybersecurity issues to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Barr said. “His management experience and expertise in financial regulation give him an ideal background to lead the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and he will be a worthy successor to the many historic figures who have held that post.”
“On behalf of the President, I thank Jay for accepting this nomination, and I look forward to working with him soon.”
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