Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sued Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan on Tuesday in a remarkable move intended to keep him from interfering in the criminal indictment of Donald Trump.
The suit accused Jordan of a ‘brazen and unconstitutional attack’ on the prosecution of Trump after the committee has subpoenaed Bragg’s former employee, demanded documents and planned a field hearing in New York City to disparage his office.
The 50-page suit said Jordan was launching a ‘transparent campaign to intimidate and attack’ Bragg after he unveiled 34 felony charges against Trump last week over hush money payments.
Lawyers for Bragg are seeking to prevent Jordan’s subpoena of Mark Pomerantz, who formerly led the office’s investigation into Trump before resigning once Bragg rejected his legal theories, according to the New York Times. He later wrote a book about the need to prosecute Trump.
The lawsuit also seeks to prevent any further subpoenas from Jordan, who has left the door open to issuing one to Bragg himself.
Republicans are bringing their fight with Manhattan Alvin Bragg to New York City on Monday where they will hold a field hearing with ‘victims’ of the district attorney’s policies
Last month Jordan and the GOP chairs of two other committees sent a letter that demanded the district attorney’s office provide communications, testimony and documents related to Bragg’s investigation into Trump. After the Trump charges were made public, they issued the subpoena of Pomerantz.
Bragg has refused to comply with documents requests from Republicans. He has described Republicans’ requests as improper interference in a criminal case.
The charges against Trump were revealed Tuesday and included 34 counts of falsifying business records related to a $130,000 hush money payment to Stormy Daniels and ‘catch and kill’ payments through the National Enquirer to Playboy model Karen McDougal and a doorman who purported to have a story on Trump’s alleged love child with a housekeeper.
Meanwhile Republicans are bringing their fight with Bragg to New York City on Monday where they will hold a field hearing with ‘victims’ of the district attorney’s policies.
The April 17 Judiciary Committee hearing, entitled ‘Victims of Violent Crime in Manhattan,’ will ‘examine how Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s pro-crime, anti-victim policies have led to an increase in violent crime and a dangerous community for New York City residents,’ according to a release.
Republicans, led by Jordan, have claimed Bragg is turning a blind eye to crime in his city while using a novel legal theory to indict Trump.
The witness list has not yet been shared, and it’s unclear if Republicans will invite Bragg himself to join. At least some Democrats will be at the hearing.
From the start of 2022 when he took office to November of this year, Bragg downgraded 52 percent of felony cases to misdemeanors. When he did bring forth a case, his office won a conviction just 51 percent of the time – a low figure compared to the district attorney’s office in recent years.
Republicans, led by Judiciary Chair him Jordan, R-Ohio, have claimed Bragg is turning a blind eye to crime in his city while using a novel legal theory to indict former President Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records
The 50-page suit said Jordan was launching a ‘transparent campaign to intimidate and attack’ Bragg after he unveiled 34 felony charges against Trump last week over hush money payments
Bragg’s office pushed back against Republicans’ New York crime narrative, noting that homicides and shootings have declined in Manhattan since Bragg took office.
‘Don’t be fooled, the House GOP is coming to the safest big city in America for a political stunt. This hearing won’t engage in actual efforts to increase public safety,’ a spokesperson said. The office noted that New York City’s murder rate (5.2 per 100,000) is three times lower than that of Columbus, Ohio (15.4) – in a district neighboring Jordan’s.
‘If Chairman Jordan truly cared about public safety, he could take a short drive to Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Akron, or Toledo in his home state, instead of using taxpayer dollars to travel hundreds of miles out of his way.’
Bragg, who campaigned on criminal justice reform, issued a controversial ‘Day One’ memo after taking office stating he would only seek prison time in the most severe cases.
In February 2022, Bragg walked back a little on his policies, sending out a memo that made it clear to all his staff that any crime involving a firearm would be prosecuted as a felony — reversing the stance he had taken just a month before.
Bragg’s office also took heat when he tried to prosecute 61-year-old bodega worker Jose Alba for fatally stabbing a man who attacked him over a bag of chips. Bragg later dropped the charges against Alba.
Crime in New York City ticked up in 2020 and 2021 during the pandemic (before Bragg took office) after a decade-long mostly downward trend. Overall crime soared about 22 percent in 2022 – with Bragg taking office on the first day of that year.
From April 2022 to April 2023, most violent crimes are now down, but felony assaults and car thefts are up.
The city was far safer in 2022 than it was during a dangerous period in the 80s and 90s — murders and robberies were down 80 percent in 2022 compared to 1990, rapes down 50 percent.