Berman leaves SDNY in trusted hands after Barr screws up his ouster

The person said that prosecutors and office leaders had been blindsided by Barr’s announcement, and his unusual plan for new outside leadership, and concerned about what all of that could mean for their cases going forward.

“This is one of those things where the amount of speculation outstrips the amount of knowledge by so much,” said the person. “It’s like dealing with defendants: ‘what’s the reason they did this?’ You’re trying to analyze it rationally and then you realize it’s not necessarily rational.”…

Barr had broken with Justice’s usual procedures by announcing in his Friday letter that District of New Jersey U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito would cross the Hudson and serve as the acting SDNY U.S. Attorney “effective July 3,” rather than elevating a member of the current leadership to ensure the continuity of cases—a distressing sign given how many of the office’s cases involve associates of the president.

On Saturday, Barr reversed himself, without mentioning Clayton or Carpenito, writing that “the Deputy United States Attorney, Audrey Strauss, will become the Acting United States Attorney [for SDNY], and I anticipate that she will serve in that capacity until a permanent successor is in place.”

Strauss is highly respected within the office…