Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan District Attorney responsible for overlooking the case against former President Donald Trump regarding hush-money payments made to an adult-film actress, has filed a lawsuit against a Republican legislator currently investigating his office’s actions. Bragg filed the lawsuit on Tuesday, who accused the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Jim Jordan, of engaging in a campaign to intimidate and attack him. These actions come after Trump’s prosecution on 34 felony charges related to falsifying business documents.
The lawsuit from Bragg is the latest development in the ongoing dispute between the Democratic prosecutor and GOP lawmakers. Bragg seeks to invalidate subpoenas that Jordan has already issued or plans to submit as part of his investigation into Bragg’s case handling. In the lawsuit, Bragg stated that he is taking legal action in response to an “unconstitutional and brazen” attack by Congress members on an ongoing criminal prosecution and probe of former Republican President Trump in New York.
Republican legislator investigating the case of former President Donald Trump’s payments to an adult-film actress has been sued by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who is responsible for leading the prosecution.#Trump #AlvinBragg #Manhattan #ManhattanDA #TrumpIndicment pic.twitter.com/Ok3kPrUJZY
— News Live (@NewsLiveFree) April 12, 2023
Congress Lacks Constitutional Authority to Interfere with State Criminal Proceedings
The lawsuit maintains that Congress lacks a legitimate reason to engage in a broad campaign of harassment against the District Attorney’s office in response to the ongoing investigation and prosecution of Trump in New York. Furthermore, the suit contends that Congress lacks the constitutional authority to monitor or interfere with state criminal proceedings. According to the lawsuit, such actions by Congress would be unconstitutional and disruptive to the functioning of the legal system.
The latest development in the ongoing dispute between Bragg and Jordan is Bragg’s legal action to invalidate a series of subpoenas and letters issued by Jordan. One of the subpoenas seeks testimony from former prosecutor Mark Pomerantz, who had led the Trump investigation and publicly discussed his disagreements with Bragg over its direction before leaving the office in 2022. Previously, House Republicans had demanded Bragg to testify about what they perceived as a politically motivated prosecutorial decision. Jordan has been targeting individuals involved in the case against Trump, the first U.S. president to face criminal charges.
Reacting to the Republicans’ subpoenas, Bragg accused them of unlawfully encroaching on his jurisdiction. Bragg’s office has refuted claims that its prosecution of Trump is politically motivated, calling them “unfounded.” However, Trump and his allies, such as Representative Jim Jordan, continue to allege that Bragg is a political investigator who receives funding from George Soros, the liberal super donor. Soros has vehemently denied these allegations.
Jordan Responds to Bragg’s Lawsuit
Responding to Bragg’s lawsuit, Jordan took to Twitter on Tuesday to criticize the prosecution’s handling of the case against Trump. Representative Jordan accused Bragg of indicting Trump without evidence of a crime and attempting to obstruct congressional oversight. Jordan wrote that first, they indict a president for no crime. “Then they sue to block congressional oversight when we ask questions about the federal funds, and they say they used to do it.”
Trump made his first court appearance last week and was arraigned on charges related to a hush-money payment he made to Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress. The payment was allegedly made through Trump’s lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen. According to Stormy Daniels, she had a romantic relationship with Trump before he became president. Although having an affair is usually a minor offense under New York state law, falsifying business records can be considered a felony if it involves an “intent to defraud” and to “commit another crime and aid, conceal the commission thereof.”
Trump Violated both Federal and State Election Laws
The statement of facts released alongside the indictment stated that Trump was involved in “a scheme with others to influence the results of the 2016 presidential election by identifying and buying negative information about him to conceal its publication and benefit the former president’s electoral prospects.” During a news conference after the arraignment, Bragg stated that Trump had broken state and federal election laws. He also claimed that Trump had falsely labeled the payments to Cohen as being for “tax purposes.”
To prove Trump’s guilt, prosecutors must establish that he falsified records to serve a secondary crime, but they will not be required to prosecute that crime. In the lawsuit against Jordan on Tuesday, Bragg is represented by Theodore Boutrous, a prominent First Amendment attorney who has also represented Mary Trump, the former president’s estranged niece, in her legal battles with her uncle. U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil, a Trump appointee previously serving as a federal bankruptcy court judge, has been assigned to the case.
On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee declared its intention to hold a hearing in Manhattan to discuss crime in New York City and what it has dubbed as Bragg’s “pro-crime, anti-victim” policies. The lawsuit was filed in response to the hearing announcement. Bragg’s office has cited data showing decreased violent crime in Manhattan since he took office in January 2022.
Bragg criticized the House Judiciary Committee’s announcement of a hearing on crime in New York City and his policies, calling it “a political stunt.” He added that if Jordan truly prioritized public safety, he should focus on crime in his home state of Ohio instead of wasting taxpayer money to travel out of his way.