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New York prosecutor sues to stop House subpoenas on Trump case

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg argues lawmakers can't demand sensitive and confidential local prosecutorial information

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, leaves a House GOP caucus meeting in September.
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, leaves a House GOP caucus meeting in September. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg asked a federal judge Tuesday to block a House Judiciary Committee subpoena that seeks information on his office’s investigation into former President Donald Trump.

A lawsuit filed in New York federal court seeks to block a congressional subpoena for testimony from Mark Pomerantz, a former special assistant district attorney who participated in the office’s investigation of Trump and his businesses.

Bragg also asks the judge to preemptively block any further subpoenas for him or his employees from the committee helmed by Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, in what the filing calls an “unprecedently brazen and unconstitutional attack” on the state investigation.

The civil case is the latest escalation in the political battle around the 34-count felony indictment Bragg entered against Trump last week in New York state court.

“Members of Congress are not free to invade New York’s sovereign authority for their or Mr. Trump’s political aims,” the lawsuit states. “Congress has no authority to ‘conduct oversight’ into District Attorney Bragg’s exercise of his duties under New York law in a single case involving a single defendant.”

Jordan criticized the suit on Twitter soon after it was filed. “First, they indict a president for no crime. Then, they sue to block congressional oversight when we ask questions about the federal funds they say they used to do it,” Jordan said.

Seeking information

Bragg filed the lawsuit in response to a subpoena Jordan sent Thursday to Pomerantz, who previously worked as a special assistant district attorney for Bragg’s office before resigning in protest in March of last year.

In a resignation letter published by The New York Times, Pomerantz alleged that Trump lied on numerous financial disclosures and Bragg had dragged his feet on seeking an indictment.

On Friday, Jordan sent a letter to Matthew Colangelo, senior counsel to Bragg’s office, requesting testimony and documents in support of an investigation into Bragg’s “unprecedented prosecutorial misconduct.”

In the lawsuit that includes images of tweets from the House committee, Bragg paints the Pomerantz subpoena as part of a broader effort to frustrate the prosecution of Trump.

“But rather than allowing the criminal process to proceed in the ordinary course, Chairman Jordan and the Committee are participating in a campaign of intimidation, retaliation, and obstruction,” the lawsuit states.

Congress returns next week from a recess, and Republicans have said they will investigate Bragg’s decision to charge Trump.

Jordan has already announced a hearing in New York City that will focus on the “Victims of Violent Crime in Manhattan” and explicitly mentions it will cover how Bragg’s “pro-crime, anti-victim policies have led to an increase in violent crime and a dangerous community for New York City residents.”

In his letter accompanying the Pomerantz subpoena, Jordan said the committee may consider numerous legislative options to “insulate” current and former presidents from state and local criminal prosecutions.