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N.Y. Litigator Berke to Lead Trump Impeachment Prosecution (1)

Jan. 15, 2021, 10:52 PMUpdated: Jan. 15, 2021, 11:12 PM

New York litigator Barry Berke has been tapped as Democrats’ top legal adviser in the upcoming impeachment trial against President Donald Trump.

Berke, a white collar defense lawyer at Kramer Levin, will serve as chief impeachment counsel for the House Judiciary Committee, Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) said Friday. He worked for House Judiciary Committee Democrats as special counsel in the 2019 impeachment inquiry.

Senate has yet to say when it will hold a trial, which will not happen until the chamber recovenes Jan. 19. The House voted Wednesday to impeach Trump for a second time.

Berke will be joined by Joshua Matz, a constitutional scholar who has been named impeachment counsel. Matz is a partner at Kaplan Hecker & Fink and a Georgetown University law professor.

Berke’s former clients include New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Deutsche Bank. He rejoined Kramer Levin in February 2020, where he co-chairs the firm’s litigation group.

Berke and Norm Eisen, chief White House ethics lawyer under President Barack Obama, previously advised the committee in its oversight of the Justice Department, including its review of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. After an impeachment investigation was launched, Berke and Eisen assisted in authoring the committee’s report that laid out the legal arguments for impeachment.

Berke played a prominent role in impeachment hearings, providing the opening statement for the committee and questioning key witnesses including former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.

(Updated with additional reporting.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at