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Trump fires US prosecutor who refused to quit, says Attorney General Barr

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A high-profile US prosecutor who investigated allies of Donald Trump has been fired by the president after refusing to quit his job, Attorney General William Barr said on Saturday.

Geoffrey Berman, who was head of the powerful Southern District of New York attorney’s office, had refused to step down despite Barr’s announcement late Friday that the prosecutor was resigning.

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“Because you have declared that you have no intention of resigning, I have asked the President to remove you as of today, and he has done so,” Barr said in a letter to Berman that was widely circulated by US media.

Barr accused Berman of having “chosen public spectacle over public service.”

Berman had investigated associates of the president, including overseeing the prosecution of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and probing advisor Rudy Giuliani’s efforts to discredit Trump’s political opponents.