The office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is remaining resolute in response to interference attempts from Republicans in the House including Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), who, besides other roles, leads the chamber’s Judiciary Committee.
On Friday, Bragg’s team sent Jordan and fellow leading House Republicans another dismissive letter ripping the justifications these GOP figureheads had provided for seeking information on the criminal investigation into Trump conducted by that prosecutor’s team. That probe has now culminated in criminal charges for the former president that were approved by a jury Thursday and relate to falsified business records prepared in relation to hush money illegally given to Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. Jordan, with Reps. James Comer (R-Ky.) and Bryan Steil (R-Wisc.), has demanded Bragg provide potentially evidentiary materials like communications involving two ex-top prosecutors on the team and relating to Trump, along with accompanying documents.
In the Friday letter, Leslie Dubeck, a lawyer in Bragg’s office, restated the importance — as supported, she noted, by various components of the legal record — of respecting the sovereignty of New York authorities in handling matters of criminal justice within their jurisdiction. An intervening reply from the Republicans had questioned that dismissal and asserted various supposedly compelling federal interests, including possibly preparing legislation to protect former presidents from prosecutions of the sort Trump is now facing, but Dubeck wasn’t impressed, noting the absence of that excuse in earlier missives suggests it was arbitrary.
“You did not identify any such legislative purpose in your initial letter, suggesting that your proposal to “insulate current and former presidents” from state criminal investigations is a baseless pretext to interfere with our Office’s work,” Dubeck wrote. “Indeed, we doubt that Congress would have authority to place a single private citizen–including a former president or candidate for president–above the law or to grant him unique protections, such as removal to federal court, that are unavailable to every other criminal defendant.” Dubeck also noted relevant sources for information for these purportedly legislative purposes could be found outside the district attorney’s office — but she didn’t give much credence to the idea legislative intent was guiding the Republicans’ actions, instead accusing them of functioning more as a de facto defense team for Trump.
“As Committee Chairmen, you could use the stature of your office to denounce these attacks and urge respect for the fairness of our justice system and for the work of the impartial grand jury,” Dubeck added, referring to some of Trump’s recent rhetoric. “Instead, you and many of your colleagues have chosen to collaborate with Mr. Trump’s efforts to vilify and denigrate the integrity of elected state prosecutors and trial judges and made unfounded allegations that the Office’s investigation, conducted via an independent grand jury of average citizens serving New York State, is politically motivated.”
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