Politico reports: President Donald Trump has personally interviewed at least two potential candidates for U.S. attorney positions in New York, according to two sources familiar with the matter — a move that critics say raises questions about whether they can be sufficiently independent from the president.
Trump has interviewed Geoffrey Berman, who is currently at the law firm Greenberg Traurig for the job of U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Ed McNally of the firm Kasowitz Benson Torres for the Eastern District post, according to the sources.
It was unclear when the discussions took place. Trump has not announced nominees for those positions. Neither Berman nor McNally responded to calls or emails requesting comment.
The White House did not deny that Trump had personally conducted the interviews with those two candidates. A White House official noted: “These are individuals that the president nominates and the Senate confirms under Article II of the Constitution.”
“We realize Senate Democrats would like to reduce this President’s constitutional powers,” the White House official said. “But he and other presidents before him and after may talk to individuals nominated to positions within the executive branch.”
The Southern District of New York is an especially notable position since it has jurisdiction over Trump Tower. Preet Bharara, the former U.S. attorney there, has said he had been told that Trump would keep him on despite the change in administrations. Yet he was among those abruptly fired by Trump in March. [Continue reading…]
It’s a shame we can’t see how Trump shook hands with each candidate and see how they yielded (or didn’t) to his standard shoulder-dislocation test — the test in which he yanks a body to find out whether it is suitably compliant with his demands.