US President Donald Trump has fired a top federal prosecutor who refused to leave office, Attorney General William Barr has said.
Geoffrey Berman, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said on Friday that he had learned he was “stepping down” in a press release.
Mr Berman insisted he would stay in post and continue his investigations.
But on Saturday Mr Barr announced that he had asked the president to remove him immediately, and he had done so.
Mr Berman oversaw the prosecution of a number of Mr Trump’s associates.
They included the president’s former lawyer Michael Cohen, who has served a prison sentence for lying to Congress, the US legislature, and election campaign finance fraud.
Mr Berman’s department has also been investigating the conduct of Rudy Giuliani, Mr Trump’s current personal lawyer.
He also led the investigation into Jeffrey Epstein and earlier this month accused Prince Andrew of “shutting the door” on his probe.