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The House Judiciary Committee is broadening its inquiry into the actions of the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office concerning the extraordinary indictment of former President Donald Trump.
Chairman Jim Jordan sent a letter to Matthew Colangelo, senior counsel for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, requesting a transcribed interview. In December, the New York Times reported that Colangelo was brought on board four months ago to “jump start” investigations into Trump, after years of pursuing the former president at both the Department of Justice and the New York attorney general’s office.
“Given your history of working for law-enforcement entities that are pursuing President Trump and the public reporting surrounding your decision to work for the New York County District Attorney’s Office, we request your cooperation with our oversight in your personal capacity,” Jordan wrote.
During an unprecedented arraignment on Tuesday, Trump pleaded not guilty to a 34-count felony indictment that carries a maximum prison sentence of 136 years. The charges are related to hush-money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016, a case that prosecutors had previously declined to pursue.
Despite the charges, a group of twelve liberal law professors and Trump critics have deemed the prosecution a dead end, citing the weak nature of the case, the outlet noted.
After getting stiff resistance from Bragg’s office regarding oversight requests, Jordan reminded Colangelo in his letter of Congress’s power to investigate his office.
The Supreme Court has recognized that Congress has a ‘broad and indispensable’ power to conduct oversight, which ‘encompasses inquiries into the administration of existing laws, studies of proposed laws, and surveys in our social, economic or political system for the purpose of enabling Congress to remedy them,’” the letter explained.
“Rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives authorizes the Committee on the Judiciary to conduct oversight of criminal justice matters to inform potential legislation. Congress has a specific and manifestly important interest in preventing politically motivated prosecutions of current and former Presidents,” it added.
According to a report from Fox News, the back-and-forth has prompted the committee to consider issuing official subpoenas to Bragg’s office.
Last week, Bragg was smacked down by a federal judge in his stand-off with Jordan.
Bragg dropped his appeal of the judge’s decision and will allow Pomerantz to testify before Jordan’s committee, ABC News reported.
The decision to drop the appeal came on Friday night after Bragg’s office said they had come to an agreement with the committee.
“Our successful stay of this subpoena blocked the immediate deposition and afforded us the time necessary to coordinate with the House Judiciary Committee on an agreement that protects the District Attorney’s privileges and interests. We are pleased with this resolution, which ensures any questioning of our former employee will take place in the presence of our General Counsel on a reasonable, agreed upon timeframe,” a spokesperson for his office said.
A spokesman for Rep. Jordan’s office also confirmed that the parties had reached an agreement.
“This evening, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office withdrew its appeal in Bragg v. Jordan. Mr. Pomerantz’s deposition will go forward on May 12, and we look forward to his appearance,” spokesman Russell Dye said.
This week a federal judge rejected Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s request to block a former prosecutor in his office from testifying before the House Judiciary Committee about the criminal case against former President Donald Trump.
“The committee and its chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), had subpoenaed ex-assistant district attorney Mark Pomerantz to give testimony about the DA’s investigation into Trump, 76, that culminated in the former president’s indictment in March. Bragg filed suit against Jordan and the Judiciary Committee, claiming the subpoena was an overreach by the GOP-led House and an attempt to influence a state criminal proceeding,” the New York Post reported. “But Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil found the subpoena was issued with a valid legislative purpose and that it was not the role of the federal judiciary to dictate how Congress operates.”
“Mr. Pomerantz must appear for the congressional deposition. No one is above the law,” Judge Vyskocil wrote in an opinion issued after a Manhattan federal court hearing.
Pomerantz is scheduled to appear for the deposition Thursday morning — unless Bragg’s office secures a delay from a federal appeals court.
A plethora of legal experts have come forward since Trump’s indictment and argued that Bragg’s case is exceptionally weak.