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Jerry Nadler says he expects Berman will testify before Congress and is 'not interested' in Bolton appearing

CNN logo CNN 6/21/2020 By Caroline Kelly and Nicky Robertson, CNN
Jerrold Nadler wearing glasses and a suit and tie: House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) looks on during a news conference in Washington, DC on November 19, 2019. © Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) looks on during a news conference in Washington, DC on November 19, 2019.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler said Sunday he is confident Geoffrey Berman, the powerful US attorney who departed his post Saturday after a standoff with the Trump administration, will testify before his committee.

Nadler, a Democrat, told CNN's Jake Tapper on "State of the Union" that the committee had invited Berman to testify Wednesday alongside Justice Department whistleblowers.

"I don't know about Wednesday, but I'm sure he will testify," Nadler said.

Berman, the former US attorney for the Southern District of New York whose office had pursued President Donald Trump and his allies, said he would exit his role Saturday, ending a contentious back and forth with Attorney General William Barr that included Berman's extraordinary initial refusal to step down and resulted in Trump firing him.

But Nadler on Sunday told Tapper that his panel likely won't seek testimony from John Bolton, the former Trump national security adviser who asserted in a forthcoming book that Trump offered to get involved in a case overseen by Berman.

"We're not interested in Bolton's testimony," Nadler said.

Bolton claimed that in 2018, Trump offered to help Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with a Justice Department investigation into a Turkish bank, Halkbank, with ties to Erdogan that was suspected of violating US Iran sanctions -- an investigation overseen by Berman and the SDNY. Berman and Barr had clashed over the handling of the Halkbank case and others, with tensions between the New York and Washington offices running high during Berman's tenure.

When pressed on why the committee wouldn't want to hear from Bolton about the Halkbank case, Nadler added, "We may, but we'll see about that."

Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee who led House Democrats' impeachment investigation into Trump, struck a different tone Sunday, telling NBC's Chuck Todd, "I certainly hope that he will come and testify before Congress and Chairman Nadler intends to investigate this and he should."

Schiff said Thursday that Democratic House leadership had "just begun discussions with leadership about what next steps are appropriate to find out more about what John Bolton experienced, saw, witnessed in terms of the President's wrongdoing."

When asked if Congress can wait until after the election to get Bolton to testify under oath, Schiff responded, "I don't think we should wait if we conclude that there are important things that he said that needs to be exposed to the public."

The California Democrat has not yet read Bolton's book, but said that from the excerpts he has seen, "there's a tremendous amount to be disturbed about."

"Exposure of the President's misconduct is the best way to protect the country," he said.

Schiff criticized Bolton for not testifying before the House ahead of the President's impeachment trial in the Senate, saying he "he lacked that basic courage and patriotism, it was only the greed that made him come forward in this book."

The House is still in court fighting to get former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify, and Schiff said that "given that the President was trying to cheat in the upcoming election, we couldn't afford to wait another year to get John Bolton to testify."

This story has been updated with additional comments from Rep. Adam Schiff on NBC.


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