Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sued Republican U.S. Congressman Jim Jordan on Tuesday to cease what he termed a “campaign of intimidation” against former President Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York.
The complaint seeks to prevent the Republican-dominated House Judiciary Committee, which Jordan leads, from subpoenaing Mark Pomerantz, a former prosecutor who formerly supervised the Manhattan district attorney’s multi-year probe into Trump.
The subpoena, according to Bragg, is an unlawful “incursion” into a state criminal matter as retaliation for prosecuting Trump in the first indictment of a former U.S. president.
As stated in the lawsuit, Bragg’s attorneys claim that Chairman Jordan and his committee are engaged in intimidation, retribution, and obstruction instead of allowing the criminal process to run as it should.
U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil scheduled an April 19 hearing. Jordan was given until April 17 to answer Bragg’s allegation.
Former President Trump pled not guilty last week to 34 felony charges of fabricating company documents to hide a $130,000 money payment to Stormy Daniels. The payment was to prevent her from speaking about her alleged affair with Trump before the 2016 election. Trump denies the affair and the payment.
Several Republicans have described Bragg’s indictment as a politically motivated ploy to meddle in the 2024 presidential race, for which Trump is running.
The House committee is also questioning the district attorney’s use of federal monies involved in the probe that led to the indictment. On Tuesday, Jordan tweeted, First, they indict a president for no crime, then they litigate to prevent congressional scrutiny when the House committee questions them about the government cash they claim they spent.
Bragg’s office informed the committee that from 2019 to 2021, it utilized $5,000 in federal funding to examine Trump and his namesake family enterprise. The money comes from a $1 billion asset forfeiture acquired for the government during the previous 15 years, according to the office.
Manhattan’s first African-American district attorney has also accused Trump of threatening New York authorities with “violent and racist vitriol.” He highlighted a since-deleted social media photo of Trump brandishing a baseball bat next to a shot of Bragg’s head and another post in which Trump labeled Bragg an “animal.”
According to the lawsuit, the words had a “powerful effect,” Bragg got death threats from Trump fans and a parcel containing a suspicious white substance. Trump’s attorneys did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Pomerantz resigned from the District Attorney’s office shortly after Bragg took over in early 2022, deciding not to prosecute Trump for his business dealings. Pomerantz released a book earlier this year challenging that decision. He also stated that prosecutors considered charging Trump for hush payments but feared their unique legal theory would not hold up in court.
While Bragg has stated that Pomerantz’s case is incomplete, Jordan has stated that Pomerantz’s public utterances demonstrate that politics drove Bragg’s future pursuit of Trump.
Lawyers representing Bragg stated in court that rejecting the subpoena would not harm House Republicans since Congress has no control over state charges.
Bragg said if Republicans are unhappy with his case, they can take it to the voters. According to Bragg’s office, not letting the matter go to a jury trial would undermine the interests of justice and permanently harm New York’s sovereign power.
The Judiciary Committee said on Monday that a “field hearing” on “an uptick in violent crime” caused by Bragg’s policies would be held next week in New York. According to Bragg, the number of murders, shootings, burglaries, and robberies in Manhattan this year is fewer than in 2022.