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House Judiciary Committee Demands Manhattan DA Testify About 'Unprecedented Abuse of Prosecutorial Authority' in Possible Trump Indictment

The House Judiciary Committee has sent a letter to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg demanding that he testify before congress about his possible plan to indict former President Donald Trump.

Committee Chairman Jim Jordan’s letter accused Bragg of “unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority.”

“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 letter continued, “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 letter stated that the New York County District Attorney’s Office has been investigating Trump since at least 2018 and looking for a reason to bring charges — and that the facts surrounding the impending indictment have been “known for years.”

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.”

“Such a showing would extend the statute of limitations to five years — which would likely expire soon and thus explains your rush to indictment,” Jordan asserts. “The only potential speculated crime that could be alleged here would be a violation of campaign finance law, according to the scholar, a charge that the Justice Department has already declined to bring.”

The letter called into question Cohen’s credibility, labeling him the “star witness for the prosecution.” The letter refers to him as a “convicted perjured with a demonstrable prejudice against President Trump.” It also pointed out that he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 2018, and that he lied to Congress an additional six times in 2019.

“There is no scenario in which Cohen could fairly be considered an unbiased and credible witness,” the letter asserts.

Jordan added, “the inference from the totality of these facts is that your impending indictment is motivated by political calculations.”

The letter said that Bragg’s “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.”

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.

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