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Trump prosecutor claims Republicans are abusing their power by investigating him

By Ben Marquis
|
April 7, 2023

The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena on Thursday for a former top prosecutor in Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office as part of the committee's scrutiny of Bragg's criminal indictment and prosecution of former President Donald Trump.

Bragg, who has already been critical of and resistant to the congressional oversight efforts, lashed out with a statement on Thursday that decried the "unprecedented campaign of harassment and intimidation" and "abuse of power" engaged in by the committee, the Daily Mail reported.

That statement was made in response to the subpoenaed testimony of former New York County Special Assistant District Attorney Mark Pomerantz, who famously resigned in protest from Bragg's office over the slow pace of the anti-Trump investigation and lack of progress on a demanded indictment and prosecution of the former president.

Bragg says GOP engaged in "unprecedented campaign of harassment and intimidation"

In his statement on Thursday, DA Bragg said, "The House GOP continues to attempt to undermine an active investigation and ongoing New York criminal case with an unprecedented campaign of harassment and intimidation."

"Repeated efforts to weaken state and local law enforcement actions are an abuse of power and will not deter us from our duty to uphold the law," he continued.

"These elected officials would better serve their constituents and the country, and fulfill their oath of office, by doing their jobs in Congress and not intruding on the sovereignty of the state of New York by interfering in an ongoing criminal matter in state court," Bragg added.

Subpoena issued

The impetus for that statement from DA Bragg was the press release hours earlier from Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (OH-04) to announce that former prosecutor Mark Pomerantz had been subpoenaed for a deposition after having previously rejected a request for a voluntary interview.

The release noted that Pomerantz had been placed in charge of the DA office's investigations into Trump but resigned in protest over "Bragg’s initial reluctance to move forward with charges against President Trump."

"Pomerantz publicly criticized Bragg for failing to aggressively prosecute President Trump and even wrote a memoir describing his eagerness to investigate President Trump and disclosing internal deliberations about the investigation," the release continued. "Pomerantz’s public statements about the investigation strongly suggest that Bragg’s prosecution of President Trump is politically motivated."

Letter to Pomerantz explains need for subpoena

Linked in that press release was the cover letter attached to the subpoena for Pomerantz, which highlighted how the former prosecutor had refused the request for voluntary cooperation, admittedly at the behest of DA Bragg.

Yet, "Congress has a specific and manifestly important interest in preventing politically motivated prosecutions of current and former Presidents by elected state and local prosecutors," especially in places like New York where those prosecutors are elected by popular votes.

The letter went on to note that Pomerantz was "uniquely situated to provide information that is relevant and necessary" to the committee, as well as that due to his newly published book and promotional media interviews, "you have no basis to decline to testify about matters before the Committee that you have already discussed in your book and/or on a prime-time television program."

Jordan's letter proceeded to reference some of the things in the book he wanted to discuss in detail, such as internal debates and doubts about the anti-Trump probe, the clear appearance of political motivations, and Pomerantz's own admitted partisan bias against and presupposed guilt of the former president.

Documents and testimony requested of DA Bragg's Senior Counsel Matthew Colangelo

The Daily Mail noted that it remains unclear if Pomerantz will now comply with the Judiciary Committee's subpoena or make them try to enforce the matter through the courts.

One thing that is clear, though, is that Chairman Jordan and the committee were not the slightest bit deterred in their efforts by DA Bragg's statement, as it was revealed on Friday by another news release that a request was made for documents and testimony from another prominent figure in the Manhattan district attorney's office.

That senior official turned out to be Senior Counsel Matthew Colangelo, a veteran of both the Biden Justice Department and the New York Attorney General's office, who has experience in other Trump investigations and was reportedly hired just a few months ago by Bragg to help "jump-start" the stagnating Trump investigation.

The letter to Colangelo was similar in many ways to the Pomerantz letter but differed in that it set a date of April 21 for Colangelo to voluntarily turn over certain requested documents and provide sworn and transcribed testimony – with the obvious but unstated threat of a subsequent subpoena if the requests were refused.