District Attorney Alvin Bragg arrives at the office of District Attorney, after a message was posted on the Truth Social account of former U.S. President Donald Trump stating that he had expected to be arrested, and called on his supporters to protest, in New York City, U.S. March 22, 2023.
Caitlin Ochs | Reuters
A push from House Republicans to get Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to testify about his probe and expected indictment of former President Donald Trump is “unprecedented,” an advisor to Bragg told GOP lawmakers Thursday.
The Manhattan DA’s general counsel, Leslie Dubeck, offered a scathing response to GOP lawmakers in a letter addressed to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., and House Administration Committee Chairman Bryan Steil, R-Wis. She called their request “an unprecedent inquiry into a pending local prosecution” that only came about after Trump “created a false expectation” that he would be arrested Tuesday.
The original letter from the three House Republicans on Monday requested testimony and documents from Bragg about the expected indictment of Trump in a case related to a hush money payment his ex-fixer Michael Cohen made to adult film star Stormy Daniels on the eve of the 2016 election. Trump was not arrested on Tuesday, and the grand jury deciding the former president’s fate may not decide whether to indict him until next week, according to NBC New York.
In responding to Republicans, Dubeck questioned congressional authority to look into Bragg’s investigation.
“Congress is not the appropriate branch to review pending criminal matters,” Dubeck said in the letter to Jordan and the two other House Republicans dated Thursday.
She later continued: “The Letter’s requests are an unlawful incursion into New York’s sovereignty. Congress’s investigative jurisdiction is derived from and limited by its power to legislate concerning federal matters.”
Dubeck appeared to concede to at least one of the Republicans’ asks on whether any federal funds were used in the investigation into Trump and the 2016 payoff to Daniels.
“To assist Congress in understanding the ways in which the DA’s Office has used federal funds, we are preparing and will submit a letter describing its use of federal fund,” Dubeck said.
She later added, “We request a meet and confer to understand whether the Committee has any legitimate legislative purpose in the requested materials that could be accommodated without impeding those sovereign interests.
Dubeck’s response to House Republicans comes as Jordan and other Trump defenders leverage the power of their committees to try to discredit the Manhattan investigation.
A spokesman for Jordan did not return a request for comment.
The House Judiciary’s Twitter account posted on Thursday “Alvin Bragg should focus on prosecuting actual criminals in New York City rather than harassing a political opponent in another state.”
Follow live updates on the potential indictment of Trump here.