By Brendan Pierson
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Geoffrey Berman, who was named Manhattan’s top federal prosecutor by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on an interim basis in January, will stay in the role after his term was scheduled to end on May 4, a New York court spokesman said on Wednesday.
As U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Berman leads an office known for prosecuting high-profile terrorism cases, Wall Street financial crimes and government corruption.
Berman, who served on Republican President Donald Trump’s transition team, was previously a partner at the law firm of Greenberg Traurig, along with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a longtime ally and now legal advisor of the president.
Berman has not been nominated by Trump to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York then confirmed by the Senate, the usual process for appointing U.S. Attorneys.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York appointed him to continue serving until a formal nomination is made and confirmed, according to court spokesman Jordan Prince.
“I thank the Court and I am grateful for its confidence in me. I look forward to continuing the great tradition of this Office to pursue justice without fear or favor,” Berman said in a statement.
The U.S. Attorney’s office is currently investigating Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen. Berman, however, is not participating in that investigation, court filings show.
Preet Bharara held the Manhattan U.S. Attorney post until March 2017, when he and 45 other U.S. Attorneys from the Obama administration were asked to resign. Bharara refused and was fired by Trump.
(Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York, editing by G Crosse)