By Allan Lengel
These have been extraordinary times for people working for the Justice Department. Standing for what’s right in the Trump era has often come with consequences.
Geoffrey S. Berman, the ex-U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, knows that as well as anyone. Berman oversaw the office when it was investigating President Trump’s allies. In June, Trump fired him after Attorney General William Barr shamefully and unsuccessfully tried to persuade him to step down.
To his credit, Berman agreed not to fight his dismissal after Barr agreed to name Berman’s handpicked deputy, Audrey Strauss, someone with a great deal of integrity and experience, as the new U.S. Attorney. These days, not everyone has the backbone to stand up for what’s right.
To that end, we salute Geoffrey Berman and select him as the ticklethewire.com Fed of the Year for 2020.
Previous recipients of the ticklethewire.com Fed of the Year award include: Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (2008): Warren Bamford, who headed the Boston FBI (2009), Joseph Evans, regional director for the DEA’s North and Central Americas Region in Mexico City (2010); Thomas Brandon, deputy Director of ATF (2011); John G. Perren, who was assistant director of WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) Directorate (2012); David Bowdich, special agent in charge of counterterrorism in Los Angeles (2013); Loretta Lynch, who was U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn at the time (2014); John “Jack” Riley, the DEA’s acting deputy administrator (2015); D.C. U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips (2016); Joe Rannazzisi, a retired DEA deputy assistant administrator (2017); Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (2018); and DEA agent Joe Piersante (2019).