Alvin Bragg, Manhattan District Attorney, has reacted to House Republicans’ demand for documents and testimony in their case against former President Donald Trump. He called the demands of GOP lawmakers “unlawful political interference” within an ongoing criminal case.
Leslie B. Dubeck was the general counsel of Bragg’s office and denounced their “baseless, inflammatory allegations that our investigation was politically motivated” in a Friday letter. Trump is the first American president to face criminal charges.
Dubeck wrote that the Committees’ interference in a state criminal investigation (and now prosecution) was an unprecedented and illegal intrusion on New York’s sovereign rights.
Bragg is investigating Trump’s alleged involvement with hush money payments made to Stormy Daniels in 2016. This was to keep Bragg from revealing that she has an affair with Trump years ago, while he was running to be president. Trump denies having had sexual encounters with Stormy Daniels and denies falsifying business records to conceal the payment.
A Manhattan grand jury voted historically to indict Trump for the charges. The nature of the charges is unknown and the indictment is still sealed. Trump called the investigation “a witch hunt” and many Republican officials expressed outrage at these charges and accused the Democratic prosecutors of being politically motivated.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and other top Republicans from the Administration and Oversight Committees wrote to Bragg last Wednesday requesting that he turn over documents relating to his Trump investigation to Congress and testify in front of Congress. This was after reports suggested that Trump could be facing an indictment.
Bragg’s office responded that they would not be intimidated by any attempts to undermine the justice system, and will not let baseless accusations stop them from fairly applying the law.
Dubeck’s letter reiterates this position. The letter also asserts that Congress has no legitimate purpose in seeking information about Trump’s case and that such a review “is an improper, dangerous usurpation of executive and judicial functions.”
“Even worse, based upon your reportedly close cooperation with Mr. Trump in attacking the Office and the Grand Jury process, it seems that you are acting more as criminal defense counsel trying to collect evidence for a client rather than a legislative body looking to achieve a legitimate legislative goal,” the letter charged.
Dubeck responds to GOP allegations that Bragg’s Office is using federal funds for Trump’s prosecution. He writes that the DA’s office has contributed over $1 billion to federal government asset forfeiture funds over the past 15 years and that only a “small portion” of those funds are being received by the district attorney.
According to DA records, approximately $5,000 was spent on expenses related to Trump Organization investigations. None of these expenses were paid with federal grant funds, according to the letter.
The letter ends with a strong rebuke to Republican attempts to exert oversight over the investigation of the district attorney.
“Finally and as you know, ex-President Trump directed invective at District Attorney Bragg and threatened on social networking that his arrest in New York or indictment there may unleash ‘death’ and destruction. Dubeck wrote that you, as Committee Chairmen could use your office’s stature to condemn these attacks and demand respect for our justice system and the impartial grand jury.
“Instead, many of you and your colleagues have chosen not to cooperate with Mr. Trump’s efforts to denigrate and denigrate the integrity of elected state prosecutors and trial judges and made unfounded accusations that the Office’s investigation, which was conducted via an independent grand jury of average citizens serving New York State,” she said.
We urge you not to make these inflammatory accusations. Refuse to ask for information. Let the criminal justice system proceed without any interference from unlawful political forces.