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Trump prosecutor Bragg sued Jim Jordan for using oversight authority

By Sarah May on
 April 12, 2023

Following a number of back-and-forth exchanges between House Republicans and the office of the Manhattan prosecutor pursuing a conviction against former President Donald Trump, it emerged this week that D.A. Alvin Bragg filed suit against Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (OH-04) over what he called a “transparent campaign to intimidate and attack” the endeavor, as The Hill reports.

The move was in response to Jordan's recent decision to issue a subpoena to former New York County Special Assistant District Attorney Mark Pomerantz, who resigned his post after Bragg initially passed on charging Trump in the Stormy Daniels hush money matter and subsequently authored a book on the topic, as Fox News notes.

Bragg files suit

According to the Associated Press, Bragg's filing seeks the invalidation of subpoenas already issued by Jordan in relation to the Trump case as well as those he may attempt to issue in the future.

The outlet further noted that the presiding judge, Mary Kay Vyskocil, did not take immediate action on the matter, but scheduled an April 19 hearing in the case – just a day prior to the Judiciary's planned questioning of Pomerantz.

Bragg's complaint declares Jordan's probe to be a “constitutionally destructive fishing expedition” that presents a danger to the sovereignty enjoyed by state prosecutors.

The filing contends that “Congress lacks any valid legislative purpose to engage in a free-ranging campaign of harassment in retaliation for the District Attorney's investigation and prosecution of Mr. Trump under the laws of New York” and that there is no constitutional protection for any attempt by Congress to “oversee, let alone disrupt, ongoing state law criminal matters.”

Jordan responds

Upon learning of Bragg's lawsuit, Jordan responded by accusing the Manhattan D.A. of engaging in the real obstructionism, as Fox News noted separately.

During an appearance on the network's Special Report, Jordan explained, “We have a constitutional duty to get to the facts, particularly when you have a district attorney interfering with the most important election we have, which is the election of the commander in chief; the president of the United States.”

Addressing Bragg's conduct specifically, Jordan said, “He takes us to court because we want to talk to someone who left the D.A.'s office a year ago, who went out and wrote a book on this very subject, did all kinds of interviews, was pushing to go after President Trump before he got there.”

“They're obstructing our constitutional duty to do oversight,” Jordan declared.

Use of federal funds questioned

The issue seems to rest on Jordan’s accusation that Bragg has already admitted to using federal funds to probe the former president, in a case over which Jordan claims jurisdiction.

The Judiciary chair said during an appearance on Fox News last week, “First of all, Mr. Bragg conceded that they did use federal funds.”

Jordan continued, “And his latest correspondence with [Democrat Rep.] Jamie [Raskin] and I, he said they used federal funds in the prosecution, in this indictment against President Trump.”

“We also know that this grew out of the special counsel investigation. And of course, that statute is a federal statute. And maybe, most importantly, I think as everyone understands, this is election interference,” Jordan maintained.

Ongoing battle

The hostilities between Jordan and Bragg regarding the Trump prosecution pre-date the announcement of the indictment itself, with the initial sparring coming after three Republican House committee chairs issued a demand for documents and testimony regarding the investigation of Trump, as Politico noted at the time.

In response to that request, Bragg's office characterized any suggestion that his pursuit of Trump was politically motivated as “baseless and inflammatory” and rebuffed demands for his cooperation.

“The D.A.'s office will not allow a Congressional investigation to impede the exercise of New York's sovereign police power,” stated a representative for Bragg, who also attempted to cast doubt on the existence of any legitimate basis for a House inquiry.

Bragg's office urged the Republicans in the House to “refrain from these inflammatory accusations” and withdraw their demand for information,” but in light of the lawsuit filed against Jordan, it appears that the war between the two factions may be only just beginning.