House Republicans responded to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in a letter sent to his office on Saturday regarding an escalating dispute over the potential indictment and arrest of former President Donald Trump.
“Our Committees are conducting oversight of your reported effort to indict a former President of the United States and current declared candidate for that office,” the letter states. “On March 20, 2023, we wrote to you requesting that you voluntarily cooperate with our oversight by providing relevant documents and testimony.”
“We received a reply letter sent on your behalf dated March 23, 2023, which set forth several purported reasons for why you could not cooperate with our investigation,” the letter continued.
“Notably, your reply letter did not dispute the central allegations at issue—that you, under political pressure from left-wing activists and former prosecutors in your office, are reportedly planning to use an alleged federal campaign finance violation, previously declined by federal prosecutors, as a vehicle to extend the statute of limitations on an otherwise misdemeanor offense and indict for the first time in history a former President of the United States. Moreover, you are apparently attempting to upgrade a misdemeanor charge to a felony using an untested legal theory at the same time when you are simultaneously downgrading felony charges to misdemeanors in a majority of other cases in your jurisdiction,” the letter added.
“Contrary to the central argument set forth in your letter, this matter does not simply involve local or state interests,” the letter went on. “Rather, the potential criminal indictment of a former President of the United States by an elected local prosecutor of the opposing political party (and who will face the prospect of re-election) implicates substantial federal interests, particularly in a jurisdiction where trial-level judges also are popularly elected. If state or local prosecutors are able to engage in politically motivated prosecutions of Presidents of the United States (former or current) for personal acts, this could have a profound impact on how Presidents choose to exercise their powers while in office.”
“For example, a President could choose to avoid taking action he believes to be in the national interest because it would negatively impact New York City for fear that he would be subject to a retaliatory prosecution in New York City,” the letter notes. “Likewise, because the federal government has a compelling interest in protecting the physical safety of former or current Presidents, any decision to prosecute a former or current President raises difficult questions concerning how to vindicate that interest in the context of a state or local criminal justice system. For these reasons and others, we believe that we now must consider whether Congress should take legislative action to protect former and/or current Presidents from politically motivated prosecutions by state and local officials, and if so, how those protections should be structured. Critically, due to your own actions, you are now in possession of information critical to this inquiry.”
The House Republicans then take the Manhattan D.A. to task for making “unconvicing” arguments that are “insufficient” to bring felony charges against the president, let alone have him arrested. The committee further argues that its oversight of the District Attorney’s potential indictment of a former president is consistent with its constitutional authority.
On Saturday, the New York Post reported that the Manhattan D.A’s office hung up on Congressional staffers, telling them to “stop calling us with this bulls–t.”