Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office has responded to a letter sent by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan demanding that he testify before Congress about his “unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority.”
Bragg’s office said they would “not be intimidated” or “deterred.”
“We will not be intimidated by attempts to undermine the justice process, nor will we let baseless accusations deter us from fairly applying the law,” a spokesperson for Bragg’s office told Fox News on Tuesday.
“In every prosecution, we follow the law without fear or favor to uncover the truth. Our skilled, honest and dedicated lawyers remain hard at work,” the spokesperson added.
— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) March 20, 2023
On Monday, Jordan had sent a letter to Bragg’s office saying, “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.”
“Dear Mr. Bragg,” the letter began. “You are 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 court of the 2024 presidential election.”
The possible indictment stems from an alleged $130,000 hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016 over an alleged sexual encounter that the two had in 2006. His former attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to charges over the payment in 2018 and was sentenced to three years in prison.
Jordan noted that by July 2019, 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,” the letter said. “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.”
The crime that the indictment will reportedly bring charges for is falsifying business records, a misdemeanor that is normally subject to a two-year statute of limitations. This would have expired years ago under usual standards. However, the letter points out that state law allows a district attorney to “elevate normal misdemeanor conduct” to a felony charge if the “intent to defraud includes an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof.”
Jordan stated that Bragg’s testimony would be required no later than 10 a.m. on March 23, 2023.
Bragg must also turn over records and communications between the New York County District Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice relating to the Manhattan DA’s investigation of Trump; all communications sent by and received from the ex-prosecutors Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz relating to Trump; and all documents and communications referring or relating to the New York County District Attorney’s Office receipt and use of federal funds.
The letter was also signed by House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer and House Committee on Administration Chairman Brian Steil, both Republicans.