Thursday, the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg fired back at House Republicans who launched a probe this week into the potential indictment of former President Donald Trump, stating that they lack a “legitimate basis” for their investigation.
Leslie Dubeck, the prosecutor’s in-house general counsel who is investigating Trump for the allegations of hush money payments during the 2016 presidential election cycle to Stormy Daniels, referred to the lawmakers’ demands for communications, documents, and testimony as an unprecedented inquiry into a pending local prosecution.
Dubeck noted that their request constituted an unauthorized intrusion into New York’s sovereignty. Congress’s investigative authority derives from and is constrained by its legislative authority in federal matters.
House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Kentucky), and House Administration Committee Chairman Bryan Steil (R-Wisconsin) issued the letter to Bragg on Monday in reaction to rumors that Trump may soon be indicted. Their letter warned of an unseen misuse of “prosecutorial authority” involving the indictment of a former U.S. president and declared contender for the 2024 presidential elections.
Trump stated this past weekend that he anticipated being detained on Tuesday and urged his followers to protest. A representative for the former president later stated that Trump did not get any “notice” other than “illegal leaks” to the media, presumably alluding to media stories about law enforcement preparing for the potential of an indictment.
Dubeck stated in Bragg’s answer to GOP congressional leaders that their probe only occurred as a result of Donald Trump creating a false expectation that he would be detained on Tuesday and his attorneys requesting the GOP to intercede.
In the letter, which Punchbowl News published, Dubeck said that Neither fact is a viable foundation for a congressional investigation. Dubeck cited a New York Times article stating that a lawyer for Trump, Joseph Tacopina, urged Congress to examine the egregious misuse of authority by a “rogue local district attorney” in a letter to Jordan last month.
Dubeck concluded that Bragg’s team would not let a Congressional inquiry hamper the exercise of New York’s sovereign police power” and that his agency would always treat a fellow government body with proper respect. Dubeck noted that Bragg’s team had asked for a “meet and confer” to determine whether the Committee has a genuine legislative objective that might be addressed without hurting sovereign interests.
Trump, who in November declared a third run for the White House, alleges Bragg’s investigation is politically motivated and denies wrongdoing. ABC News reports that an indictment might come as early as next week, although the grand jury is not anticipated to return to the Trump investigation until at least Monday.
Jordan stated on Wednesday night that he was widening his inquiry into Bragg by sending questions to Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz, the former prosecutors in charge of the Trump investigation who quit last year out of anger with Bragg’s reluctance to pursue an indictment.
House Judiciary Committee, which is chaired by Jordan, tweeted in response to Bragg’s response letter. “Make Manhattan Safe Again!” Alvin Bragg should focus on pursuing genuine criminals in New York City as opposed to harassing a political opponent in another state.