House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY), and House Administration Committee Chairman Bryan Steil (R-WI) have sent a letter to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg demanding his testimony before Congress.
The top Republicans are also demanding Bragg’s communications and documents related to his potential indictment of President Donald Trump.
The letter says: “You are reportedly about to engage in an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority: the indictment of a former President of the United States and current declared candidate for that office.
“This indictment comes after years of your office searching for a basis—any basis—on which to bring charges, ultimately settling on a novel legal theory untested anywhere in the country and one that federal authorities declined to pursue.
“If these reports are accurate, your actions will erode confidence in the evenhanded application of justice and unalterably interfere in the course of the 2024 presidential election.
“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.
“The New York County District Attorney’s Office has been investigating President Trump since at least 2018, looking for some legal theory on which to bring charges.
“The facts surrounding the impending indictment have ‘been known for years.’ Michael Cohen, President Trump’s disgraced former lawyer, pleaded guilty over four years ago to charges based on the same facts at issue in the impending indictment.
“By July 2019, however, federal prosecutors determined that no additional people would be charged alongside Cohen.
“Now, in the words of one legal scholar, you are attempting to ‘shoehorn’ the same case with identical facts into a new prosecution, resurrecting a so-called ‘zombie’ case against President Trump.
“Even the Washington Post quoted ‘legal experts’ as calling your actions ‘unusual’ because ‘prosecutors have repeatedly examined the long-established details but decided not to pursue charges.’
“In addition to the novel and untested legal theory, your star witness for this prosecution has a serious credibility problem—a problem that you have reportedly recognized.
“This case relies heavily on the testimony of Michael Cohen, a convicted perjurer with a demonstrable prejudice against President Trump.
“Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 2018. In 2019, when he testified before Democrats on the House Oversight Committee to aid their fruitless investigation into President Trump, Cohen lied again—six times.
“Cohen has been vocal about his deeply personal animus toward President Trump. Under these circumstances, there is no scenario in which Cohen could fairly be considered an unbiased and credible witness.
“Your decision to pursue such a politically motivated prosecution—while adopting progressive criminal justice policies that allow career ‘criminals [to] run[ ] the streets’ of Manhattan —requires congressional scrutiny about how public safety funds appropriated by Congress are implemented by local law-enforcement agencies.
“In addition, your 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.
“Finally, because the circumstances of this matter stem, in part, from Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation, Congress may consider legislative reforms to the authorities of special counsels and their relationships with other prosecuting entities.
“Accordingly, to advance our oversight, please produce the following documents and information for the period January 1, 2017, to the present:
- All documents and communications between or among the New York County District Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of Justice, its component entities, or other federal law enforcement agencies referring or relating to your office’s investigation of President Donald Trump;
- All documents and communications sent or received by former employees Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz referring or relating to President Donald Trump; and
3. All documents and communications referring or relating to the New York County District Attorney Office’s receipt and use of federal funds,” the letter says.
“In addition, your testimony is necessary to advance our oversight and to inform potential legislative reforms,” the letter says.