Likely emboldened by her senior colleague Dianne Feinstein’s power move of leaking the Fusion GPS Russia dossier testimony yesterday, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) made a bold power move of her own today, exercising her “blue slip prerogative” to block presidential judicial nominee Geoffrey Berman in Trump’s native New York.
Gillibrand intends not to sign her blue slip allowing Berman to be considered as a nominee to replace former New York U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whom Trump fired for refusing to engage in an inappropriately chummy relationship with him.
A statement from Gillibrand’s spokesman pointed to the highly irregular step Trump took in personally interviewing Berman and other New York U.S. Attorney candidates in October without anyone else present.
Berman, meanwhile, works for the same firm as Trump crony Rudy Giuliani.
Trump is terrified of being indicted in New York because, while he can pardon himself and his inner circle of federal crimes, he cannot do so for state crimes, of which the Big Apple is the alleged site of many.
The president’s corrupt behavior with Berman follows the same M.O. he displayed in trying to ingratiate himself with Bharara and with FBI director James Comey, before he fired both of them for not helping him obstruct justice.
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) is trying to do away with the “blue slip” prerogative, in order to try to stop Democrats from blocking Trump’s judicial nominees, much in the same way he tried to conceal the Russia dossier testimony and recommended an investigation against American intelligence ally Christopher Steele — all in an effort to protect the Criminal-in-Chief from legal and political vulnerability.
However, Grassley has said he will honor Gillibrand’s blue slip prerogative in the case of Berman.
Gillibrand is the one Democrat who has fought Trump on every single political appointment and policy from Day One of his presidency, inviting his infamous insinuation that she had acted like a whore when she solicited campaign funds from him before he ran for president.
By blocking Trump’s corrupt nomination of a “friendly” New York judge, Gillibrand persists in her defense of America’s rule of law against the would-be autocrat currently occupying the Oval Office.
She has him cornered. If he defies her move, he racks up even more evidence of obstruction of justice.
By battling Gillibrand, Trump is just hastening his own political demise, while casting her as a national hero.