House Republicans Insist on Information From Bragg’s Office on Trump Indictment

House Republicans Insist on Information From Bragg’s Office on Trump Indictment
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) speaks during an on-camera interview near the House Chambers during a series of votes in the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington on Jan. 9, 2023. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
Allen Zhong

House Republicans sent another letter to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Saturday, requesting the latter to provide more information about the potential indictment against former president Donald Trump.

“We reiterate the request in our March 20 letter and ask that you comply in full as soon as possible but no later than March 31, 2023,” the Republicans said in the letter (pdf).

The letter was signed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), House Administration Committee Chair Bryan Steil (R-Wis.), and House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.).

Trump issued a statement on March 18 saying he expected to be indicted by Manhattan District Attorney’s Office on March 21.

In the statement on Truth Social post, the former president called his supporters to protest and “take our nation back!”

The three House Republican chairpersons sent a letter on Monday to Bragg for information related to the Trump probe, including whether federal funds were used in the investigation. Leslie Dubeck, general counsel of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office said on Thursday—in response to the House Republicans’ letter—that his office will provide a letter detailing its use of federal funds.

However, Dubeck said the inquiry for information about the Trump probe is “unprecedented,” “unconstitutional,” and a violation of New York’s sovereignty.

Bragg’s office requested a meeting with the House Republicans “to understand whether the Committee has any legitimate legislative purpose in the requested material that could be accommodated without impeding those sovereign interests.”

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg arrives at the Manhattan District Attorney's office in New York City, on March 23, 2023. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg arrives at the Manhattan District Attorney's office in New York City, on March 23, 2023. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images)

The House Republicans said in the Saturday letter that they are not trying to block any prosecution by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

“We are simply seeking information to carry out constitutional duties,” they wrote in the letter.

Meanwhile, the top Republicans insisted that “federal interest” is substantially involved in this probe.

“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 President 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,” reads the letter.

A spokesperson insisted that the Republicans’ inquiry is inappropriate.

“We evaluate cases in our jurisdiction based on the facts, the law, and the evidence. It is not appropriate for Congress to interfere with pending local investigations. This unprecedented inquiry by federal elected officials into an ongoing matter serves only to hinder, disrupt and undermine the legitimate work of our dedicated prosecutors. As always, we will continue to follow the facts and be guided by the rule of law in everything we do,” the spokesperson told The Epoch Times.

‘Legitimate Legislative Purpose’

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is investigating Trump for his company’s classification of a $130,000 reimbursement to his former personal attorney Michael Cohen linked to a payment made to adult entertainment actress Stormy Daniels.

A grand jury hearing the case appeares to be not yet concluded.

In the Thursday letter, Bragg’s office said Trump “created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day” and claimed the Republicans have no legislative reasons in the inquiry.

The Republicans, however, stated that there are several legislation-related aspects in the pursuit of information and testimony from Bragg’s office.

The House Judiciary Committee may draft legislation to bar current and former presidents from improper state and local prosecutions.

Congress may also consider legislative reforms on the authority of special counsels, as the current probe by Manhattan DA was part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

“We trust the information in this letter satisfies your request to ‘understand whether the Committee has any legitimate legislative purpose,’” the Republicans concluded.

Allen Zhong is a long-time writer and reporter for The Epoch Times. He joined the Epoch Media Group in 2012. His main focus is on U.S. politics. Send him your story ideas: [email protected]
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