Manhattan DA accuses GOP of “unlawful political interference” in Trump case

The office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Friday slammed House Republicans for demanding information on their case against former President Donald Trump, calling their attempt “unlawful political interference” in an ongoing criminal case. 

Three committee chairmen — Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Bryan Steil, R-Wis., and James Comer, R-Ky. — attempted to gain access to documents and testimony about Trump’s hush money case before he was indicted on Thursday. In a letter to the lawmakers obtained by the Washington Post, Leslie Dubeck, the general counsel for Bragg’s office, scolded the Republicans for trying to “collaborate” with the former president.

“As you are no doubt aware, former President Trump has directed harsh invective against District Attorney Bragg and threatened on social media that his arrest or indictment in New York may unleash ‘death & destruction,'” Dubeck wrote to the chairmen.

The specific charges against Trump are still unknown as they are sealed, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying to undermine the criminal investigation on his far-right social media site Truth Social.

Dubeck noted that the lawmakers could have used their prominent positions to denounce Trump’s baseless attacks on the justice system. “Instead, you and many of your colleagues have chosen to collaborate with Mr. Trump’s efforts to vilify and denigrate the integrity of elected state prosecutors and trial judges and made unfounded allegations that the Office’s investigation … is politically motivated,” Dubeck wrote. 

“We urge you to refrain from these inflammatory accusations, withdraw your demand for information, and let the criminal justice process proceed without unlawful political interference,” she continued.

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In a March 25 letter to Bragg’s office, the chairmen said they were seeking the documents because Congress might try to pass legislation to shield former presidents from state criminal investigations for “personal acts.” Dubeck’s response to the request was that they were trying to invent “a baseless pretext to interfere with our Office’s work,” stating that they never cited that rationale in their original request for documentation. 

Dubeck on Friday repeated her statement that the committees have no jurisdiction to oversee a state criminal prosecution and ripped apart the argument that their investigation was politically motivated because they didn’t hand over the requested materials. 

“That conclusion is misleading and meritless,” Dubeck wrote Friday. “We did not engage in a point-by-point rebuttal of your letter because our Office is legally constrained in how it publicly discusses pending criminal proceedings, as prosecutorial offices are across the country and as you well know.”

Dubeck reaffirmed that if the Republican lawmakers did not withdraw their request, the district attorney’s office would be willing to meet with them to discuss how to fulfill their request without violating their obligations as prosecutors.

“We trust you will make a good-faith effort to reach a negotiated resolution before taking the unprecedented and unconstitutional step of serving a subpoena on a district attorney for information related to an ongoing state criminal prosecution,” she concluded.

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