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Sat Jun 20, 2020, 08:50 PM

Ousting of U.S. prosecutor thrusts low-profile markets regulator into unwelcome spotlight

Source: Reuters

POLITICS JUNE 20, 2020 / 2:47 PM / UPDATED 12 MINUTES AGO

Ousting of U.S. prosecutor thrusts low-profile markets regulator into unwelcome spotlight

Chris Prentice, Katanga Johnson
5 MIN READ

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Fridayís surprise decision by the U.S. Department of Justice to replace a top federal prosecutor has thrust one of the Trump administrationís more low-profile, bipartisan officials into the spotlight, shocking people who know and have worked with him.

Over the past day, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton has come under enormous pressure to spurn his nomination to replace U.S. Attorney in Manhattan Geoffrey Berman, who was fired by President Donald Trump on Saturday after refusing to resign in a Friday night statement.

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That announcement left Claytonís nomination for the SDNY role in serious doubt. But the episode has nonetheless stunned current and former SEC officials and lawyers who have worked with Clayton, a former corporate attorney and political independent who until now has steered well clear of partisan controversy.

It also raises questions about the future leadership of the SEC, which could potentially fall to ranking Republican commissioner Hester Peirce, an ultra-conservative who frequently votes against penalizing companies for wrongdoing. Peirce did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday night.

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Read more: 'https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-sec-analysis/ousting-of-u-s-prosecutor-thrusts-low-profile-markets-regulator-into-unwelcome-spotlight-idUSKBN23R0S1

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