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Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg fired back at House Republicans who subpoenaed a former prosecutor from his office on Thursday, accusing them of “intruding on the sovereignty of the state of New York” as former President Donald Trump’s congressional allies escalate their probe into Bragg’s prosecution of Trump.
Bragg accused House GOP members of an “attempt to undermine an active investigation and ongoing New York criminal case with an unprecedented campaign of harassment and intimidation” in a statement released Thursday.
The statement follows a subpoena House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) issued earlier Thursday that seeks testimony from Mark Pomerantz, a former Manhattan prosecutor who resigned from Bragg’s office when it did not bring charges against Trump early last year, grievances he detailed in a newly released book titled People vs. Donald Trump.
Jordan first requested Pomerantz and Bragg voluntarily testify on March 22, which they both denied.
The subpoena—and Bragg’s response—is the latest back-and-forth in an escalating feud between the Manhattan DA’s office and Trump’s allies in Congress who have vowed to probe the local prosecutors’ criminal investigation, claiming it is politically motivated and designed to hurt his chances of being re-elected president.
Bragg has previously claimed that Congressional committees, which are tasked with taking on matters that align with their legislative duties, do not have the authority to investigate a state prosecutor’s office, though Republicans have suggested they could craft legislation “to protect former and/or current Presidents from politically motivated prosecutions” or consider the Bragg probe in deciding how much federal funding to give local law enforcement agencies.
“It now appears that your efforts to shame Bragg have worked as he is reportedly resurrecting a so-called ‘zombie’ case against President Trump using a tenuous and untested legal theory,” Jordan wrote in the subpoena letter, referring to the “zombie” moniker that Pomerantz used to describe the Stormy Daniels case. “Your book again unfairly disparaged President Trump, and now opens the door to examination about the District Attorney’s office commitment to evenhanded justice.”
Republican lawmakers jumped to Trump’s defense after he was indicted last week, after a years-long investigation by the Manhattan DA’s office into a broad hush-money scheme prosecutors claim he orchestrated to cover up allegations of three extramarital affairs in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy accused Bragg of routinely freeing “violent criminals to terrorize the public,” a reference to Bragg’s reputation as a progressive prosecutor, and warned that the House will hold Bragg and “his unprecedented abuse of power to account.”Trump, who pleaded not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying business records in the probe on Tuesday, has also consistently attacked Bragg and Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing the case, alleging that Merchan “hates” him and Bragg is engaging in a political witch hunt to thwart his 2024 re-election bid.
Bragg and Merchan have both received threats amid the case against Trump. A suspicious white powder, accompanied by a written death threat addressed to Bragg, was discovered inside an envelope at the Manhattan district attorney’s office days before a grand jury voted to indict Trump. Merchan and his family have also received a significant number of threats in the wake of the indictment, a source familiar with the situation told Forbes on Wednesday.
Merchan chastised Trump for his inflammatory rhetoric during his Tuesday arraignment, and did not rule out a future gag order against him, if necessary. He asked Trump to “refrain” from “comments that have potential to incite violence, create civil unrest [or] jeopardize the state or well-being of any individuals,” according to multiple reports.
What To Watch For
Jordan has reportedly left open the possibility of subpoenaing Bragg in the committee’s probe.
Bragg Calls GOP Attacks Of Trump Indictment ‘Baseless And Inflammatory’ In New Letter (Forbes)
Manhattan D.A. Calls House GOP’s Investigation Of Trump Criminal Probe ‘Unlawful’ (Forbes)
House GOP Demands Manhattan DA Testify Over Trump Criminal Probe: ‘Unprecedented Abuse Of Prosecutorial Authority’ (Forbes)