Berman’s strategy of refusing to resign paid off for his former office. In a victory lap, Berman said he was leaving “In light of Attorney General Barr’s decision to respect the normal operation of law” by appointing Strauss.

The move was viewed as a win for SDNY, where prosecutors had become uneasy over the prospect of a new leader viewed as loyal to Barr.

Berman’s 18-hour hold-out appeared to force Barr to walk back his initial plan to appoint Carpenito. It isn’t clear why Barr changed course but his appointment of Strauss proved enough for Berman to step down.

“After all this what did they gain by getting rid of Berman? Nothing,” said one former SDNY prosecutor of Barr.