Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office had a ‘classy’ response to Congressional investigators seeking transparency over his political prosecution of former President Donald Trump.
“Stop calling us with this bullsh*t,” Bragg’s representatives told a House Judiciary staffer on Wednesday after he made multiple attempts to get in touch by phone.
When the staffer called back a second time and identified himself, a second woman told him, “Your committee has no jurisdiction over us. You’re wrong. Stop calling us with this bulls—t,” an insider told the New York Post.
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen any government entity respond to Congress in that manner. It’s quite embarrassing, but I don’t think anyone is surprised based on how partisan that office has become,” the tipster remarked.
On Monday, House Republicans sent a letter to Bragg’s office warning him that a politically motivated prosecution of a former president would constitution election interference.
“You are reportedly about to engage in an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority: the indictment of a former President of the United States and current declared candidate for that office,” the letter stated. “This indictment comes after years of your office searching for a basis—any basis—on which to bring charges, ultimately settling on a novel legal theory untested anywhere in the country and one that federal authorities declined to pursue. If these reports are accurate, your actions will erode confidence in the evenhanded application of justice and unalterably interfere in the course of the 2024 presidential election. In light of the serious consequences of your actions, we expect that you will testify about what plainly appears to be a politically motivated prosecutorial decision.”
Bragg’s general counsel Leslie Dubeck has refused to comply with a House Oversight Committee probe, calling it “an unprecedented inquiry into a pending local prosecution.”
“The Letter’s requests are an unlawful incursion into New York’s sovereignty,” Dubeck argued. “Congress’s investigative jurisdiction is derived from and limited by its power to legislate concerning federal matters.”
We “request an opportunity to meet and confer with committee staff to better understand what information the DA’s Office can provide that relates to a legitimate legislative interest and can be shared consistent with the District Attorney’s constitutional obligations,” she wrote.
On Saturday, House Republicans shot back a letter to Bragg’s office insisting on its constitutional authority to probe the matter.
“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.”
The grand jury trial of Donald Trump’s case was abruptly suspended last week after surprise defense witness Robert Costello obliterated the testimony of Bragg’s star witness, former Trump attorney and convicted perjuror Michael Cohen.
Follow Kyle Becker on Twitter @kylenabecker.