Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg sues Rep. Jim Jordan to block interference in Trump case

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Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Bragg sues Jim Jordan to stop House GOP from interfering in Trump case
Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg is suing Rep. Jim Jordan to keep the House from interfering in his ongoing investigation into former President Trump.

LOWER MANHATTAN (WABC) -- Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is suing Rep. Jim Jordan to keep the House Judiciary Committee from interfering in his ongoing investigation into former President Trump.

Bragg filed the suit in federal court in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday.

He calls House Republicans' "brazen and unconstitutional attack" a "transparent campaign to intimidate and attack" the criminal prosecution of Trump.

"Congress has no power to supervise state criminal prosecutions. Nor does Congress have the power to serve subpoenas for the personal aggrandizement of the investigators or to punish those investigated," the lawsuit said. "Yet that is precisely what Chairman Jordan is trying to do."

The court will hold a hearing on Bragg's motion on Wednesday, April 19.

The lawsuit sought to stop the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee's subpoena of Mark Pomerantz, an attorney hired by then-District Attorney Cy Vance to help lead the investigation into Trump. Pomerantz resigned from the office more than a year ago, unhappy with Bragg's decision-making and more recently published a book about his experience with the case.

Pomerantz has indicated that he would follow the office's instruction not to provide the committee with information but was named as a defendant in the lawsuit, the district attorney's office said, to free him from the risk of contempt proceedings.

"Two days after Mr. Trump was arraigned on 34 felony counts in New York State Supreme Court, Chairman Jordan and the Committee served a subpoena on Mark Pomerantz, a former Special Assistant District Attorney who participated in an investigation of Mr. Trump and his businesses," the lawsuit said. "Basic principles of federalism and common sense, as well as binding Supreme Court precedent, forbid Congress from demanding it."

Bragg said Jordan lacks a legitimate legislative purpose to issue the subpoena and pursue the investigation.

"Chairman Jordan's subpoena is an unconstitutional attempt to undermine an ongoing New York felony criminal prosecution and investigation. As our complaint details, this is an unprecedented, illegitimate interference by Congress that lacks any legal merit and defies basic principles of federalism. The Manhattan D.A.'s Office focuses on the law and the evidence, not political gamesmanship or threats," Bragg said in a statement.

The lawsuit makes specific mention of threats Bragg has endured since Trump posted on social media about the prospect of being indicted.

"Later that day, a package containing suspicious white powder arrived at the District Attorney's Office along with a note making a specific death threat against the District Attorney. The New York City Police Department and the Department of Environmental Protection responded and ultimately concluded the substance was not dangerous. In the aftermath, the District Attorney's Office received more than 1,000 calls and emails from individuals claiming to be Mr. Trump's supporters, many of which were threatening and racially charged. District Attorney Bragg also received multiple death threats," the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit accused Jordan and the House Republicans of "participating in a campaign of intimidation, retaliation, and obstruction." It noted how Trump "has threatened New York officials with violent and racist vitriol."

Jordan tweeted his response to the lawsuit later Tuesday afternoon:

"First, they indict a president for no crime. Then, they sue to block congressional oversight when we ask questions about the federal funds they say they used to do it."

Bragg's lawsuit comes the day after the House Judiciary Committee announced it will hold a hearing next week with victims who they say are suffering under Bragg's policies.

Jordan, an ally of Trump, said the panel will examine what he calls Bragg's "pro-crime, anti-victim" policies and what they claim have led to an increase in violent crime for New York City residents.

Democratic congressman Dan Goldman insisted the Republicans are trying to embarrass and discredit Bragg, despite the fact that arrests are up and most crime in Manhattan is now trending lower.

RELATED | Trump indictment unsealed: Former president accused of violating election laws

Former President Donald Trump sits at the defense table with his defense team in a Manhattan court, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in New York.
(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)


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