Late on Friday, Attorney General William Barr fired Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, whose aggressive investigations into the Trump orbit had annoyed Trump. When politicians want to do dirty deeds, they do it late on Friday, when the press is not watching closely. Trump usually fires independent Inspectors General late on Fridays.

The New York Times reports:

The Justice Department on Friday abruptly ousted the United States attorney in Manhattan, Geoffrey S. Berman, the powerful federal prosecutor whose office sent President Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to prison and who has been investigating Mr. Trump’s current personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani.

The announcement that Mr. Berman would be replaced was made with no notice by Attorney General William P. Barr, who said the president intended to nominate as Mr. Berman’s successor Jay Clayton, current chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr. Barr asked Mr. Berman to resign but he refused so Mr. Barr fired him, according to a person familiar with the matter. Mr. Trump had been discussing removing Mr. Berman for some time with a small group of advisers, the person said.

Mr. Berman has taken an aggressive approach in a number of cases that have vexed the Trump administration, from the prosecution and guilty pleas obtained from Mr. Cohen to a broader investigation, growing out of that inquiry, which focused on Mr. Trump’s private company and others close to him.

Over the last year, Mr. Berman’s office brought indictments against two close associates of the president’s current lawyer, Mr. Giuliani, and began an investigation into Mr. Giuliani himself, focusing on whether his efforts to dig up dirt in Ukraine on the president’s political rivals violated laws on lobbying for foreign entities.

Mr. Berman’s office also conducted an investigation into Mr. Trump’s inaugural committee, subpoenaing financial and other records as part of a broad inquiry into possible illegal contributions from foreigners.

Mr. Berman’s abrupt removal came just days after Mr. Trump’s former National Security adviser, John Bolton, alleged in his new book that Mr. Trump sought to interfere in an investigation by Mr. Berman’s office into a Turkish bank, in a bid to cut deals with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Mr. Trump has been upset with Mr. Berman ever since the Manhattan prosecutor’s office pursued a case against Mr. Cohen, according to a person familiar with their relationship.

Mr. Berman declined to comment on the move to replace him. The announcement came late on a Friday night, a time of day when government officials sometimes release information so that it does not attract widespread attention.

The United States Attorney’s Office in Manhattan is perhaps the most prestigious federal prosecutor’s post in the country.