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News Wrap: House Judiciary Committee hears Geoffrey Berman testimony

In our news wrap Thursday, former Manhattan federal prosecutor Geoffrey Berman told the House Judiciary Committee that Attorney General William Barr tried to convince him to step down by offering him a different job. Committee Chair Jerry Nadler called the attempt a "quid pro quo." Also, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen returned to federal prison after rejecting the terms of his home confinement.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: President Trump's former personal lawyer Michael Cohen had returned to federal prison. He'd been seen dining out in Manhattan over the weekend, and prison officials say he rejected terms of his home confinement.

    Cohen was released in May, after serving 10 months for tax evasion, campaign finance fraud and lying to Congress. His full sentence runs through November of 2021.

    The judge in the Michael Flynn case is now asking a full federal appeals court to consider the case. The former national security adviser initially pled guilty to lying to the FBI. Later, the Justice Department moved to drop the case, but the judge refused.

    Last month, a panel of the appeals court ordered the charges dismissed.

    The ousted U.S. attorney in Manhattan was interviewed today by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. Geoffrey Berman had been leading probes of President Trump's associates when he was forced out. He told lawmakers that Attorney General William Barr offered him another position to leave of his own accord.

    Afterward, Democratic committee chair Jerry Nadler was sharply critical.

  • Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.:

    The attorney general repeatedly attempted to entice Berman to step down voluntarily, after — even after Berman made clear that his leaving would disrupt certain sensitive cases.

    We don't know yet if the attorney general's conduct is criminal, but that kind of quid pro quo gets awfully close to bribery.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Attorney General Barr goes before the committee later this month.

    Sheriff's investigators in Southern California confirmed today that a black man found hanging in a tree died by suicide. They said that Robert Fuller suffered from mental illness. The discovery of his body in Palmdale last month sparked a protest. His family has said that Fuller would never have taken his own life.

    The Trump administration has banned three senior Chinese Communist Party members from entering the U.S. Today's action accuses them of subjecting Uyghurs and other minorities to forced labor, mass detentions and other abuses. One of the three officials is a member of the ruling politburo.

    In the presidential campaign, Democratic nominee-to-be Joe Biden offered a sweeping plan to rebuild manufacturing after the pandemic. He spoke in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, and called for spending $700 billion on American-made goods and on research and development.

  • Joseph Biden:

    We need to strengthen our industrial base as long-term sourced — sources of middle-class job creation. Let's use this opportunity to take bold investments in American industry and innovation, so that the future is made in America, all in America.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    On the Republican side, Vice President Pence also campaigned across Pennsylvania today.

    The Wisconsin state Supreme Court today upheld laws that limit the power of the Democratic attorney general. They were passed by a lame-duck Republican-led legislature after the 2018 election. The measures also targeted the Democratic governor who was elected that same year.

    On Wall Street, stocks mostly lost ground on worries about the COVID-19 surge. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 361 points, to close at 25706. The Nasdaq added 55 points, but the S&P 500 slipped 17.

    And for the first time, a woman is joining the U.S. Army's elite Green Berets. Officials have not released her identity, but they say she was graduated today from the Special Forces qualified course at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In all, the Army has about 6,700 Green Berets.

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