Republicans on top House investigative committees requested testimony Monday from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg after former President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he expected to be arrested this week in connection with an investigation Bragg’s office has been conducting.
Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Oversight Committee chairman Rep. James Comer (R-KY), and Administration Committee chairman Rep. Bryan Steil (R-WI) penned the request in a letter to Bragg, obtained by Breitbart News, in anticipation of the possible indictment.
In it they demanded numerous documents from Bragg and asked that he contact them by March 23 to schedule the testimony with them via a transcribed interview.
If the reports of an indictment are true, they wrote, Bragg’s actions would “erode confidence in the evenhanded application of justice and unalterably interfere in the course of the 2024 presidential election.”
Read a copy of the letter to Bragg below:
“In light of the serious consequences of your actions, we expect that you will testify about what plainly appears to be a politically motivated prosecutorial decision,” they added.
Trump, who is running for president again in 2024, said on Saturday that based on what he called “illegal leaks” from Bragg’s office, he expected to be arrested Tuesday amid an ongoing investigation into a hush money scheme involving porn star Stormy Daniels.
Bragg, whose campaign for district attorney in 2021 was financially linked to Democrat megadonor George Soros, sought “to breathe new life into an inquiry that once seemed to have reached a dead end” by zeroing in on the Daniels scandal in the first year he took office, the New York Times reported in November.
The case involves Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen, who has said he was pressured to make a $130,000 hush money payment on behalf of the former president to Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Cohen in 2018 was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to several crimes involving tax evasion, arranging payments to silence women, including Daniels, and misleading Congress about past business dealings in Russia.
Citing legal scholar Jonathan Turley, the Republicans contended that Bragg was now “attempting to ‘shoehorn’ the same case with identical facts into a new prosecution, resurrecting a so-called ‘zombie’ case against President Trump.”
They noted that a Washington Post op-ed had also called the expected indictment “unusual” because “prosecutors have repeatedly examined the long-established details but decided not to pursue charges.”
Detailing how Bragg’s forthcoming possible charges against Trump appear to have a “tenuous and untested” legal basis and acknowledging what they described as Cohen’s “serious credibility problem” because of his criminal record, the Republicans concluded that Bragg’s “impending indictment is motivated by political calculations.”
They justified their investigation into the case in part by saying Bragg’s perceived soft-on-crime posture “requires congressional scrutiny” because he may be using federal grants to carry out his job.
Additionally, they said, Bragg’s “apparent decision to pursue criminal charges where federal authorities declined to do so requires oversight to inform potential legislative reforms about the delineation of prosecutorial authority between federal and local officials.”
Bragg’s testimony, should he comply with the Republicans, would likely take place through the Judiciary Committee behind closed doors with Republicans and Democrats.
Bragg’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the matter.
Write to Ashley Oliver at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.
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