Explainer: Why Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg Sued Trump Ally Leading House Judiciary Committee

GOP Rep. Jim Jordan wants to force a former prosecutor in Bragg’s office to testify about the case.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has responded to a “brazen and unconstitutional attack” by one of Donald Trump’s closest congressional allies who Bragg believes is trying to stop his criminal prosecution of Trump.

Bragg sued Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan Tuesday (April 11) to prevent him and other congressional Republicans from interfering with his case against the former president. The prosecutor especially wants to block Jordan, who chairs the GOP-led House Judiciary Committee, from subpoenaing former assistant prosecutor Mark F. Pomerantz who worked in Bragg’s office.

The New York Times reports that the 50-page federal lawsuit alleges Jordan’s attempt to force Pomerantz to answer questions from hostile House Republicans is a “transparent campaign to intimidate and attack” Bragg. The prosecutor asked the court to block Pomerantz from complying with the subpoena.

The suit said, “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.”

Bragg’s office charged Trump on April 4 with 34 felonies connected to the former president’s attempts to cover up a potential sex scandal with porn actress Stormy Daniels during and after the 2016 presidential campaign.

After Trump falsely predicted his arrest in March, Bragg’s office has received numerous “threatening and racially charged” calls and emails from Trump supporters, the lawsuit noted.

Who is Mark Pomerantz?

Pomerantz and Carey Dunne were tasked with running the investigation of Trump under former Manhattan prosecutor Cyrus Vance Jr., and Bragg asked them to continue their work when he took office, The Associated Press reports. But Pomerantz and Dunne resigned early last year when Bragg decided not to seek an indictment of Trump at that time.

Earlier this year, Pomerantz published a book, titled People vs. Donald Trump: An Inside Account, in which he said that Vance authorized him in December 2021 to seek Trump’s indictment. Pomerantz wrote that Trump’s actions were plainly criminal and that he was frustrated with Bragg when the new DA didn’t immediately charge Trump, according to The Times.

On April 6, House Republicans subpoenaed Pomerantz, which Bragg’s office said was a federal overreach into New York’s sovereignty. Jordan ordered the former prosecutor to testify before his committee by April 30. Pomerantz has refused to voluntarily cooperate.

Explainer: What’s All The Drama Between Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg and Donald Trump?

Jordan: Trump confidant

According to Axios, Trump considers Jordan as his closest confidant in Congress.

In 2021, Trump awarded Jordan the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in a private ceremony at the White House. Jordan, who has fiercely defended the former president through several probes, has also emerged as one of President Joe Biden’s main GOP antagonists who now have subpoena powers on House committees to launch probes of their political opponents.

Jordan has said his committee needs to subpoena Pomerantz because he has insider information about the decision to prosecute Trump.

“Based on your unique role as a special assistant district attorney leading the investigation into President Trump’s finances, you are uniquely situated to provide information that is relevant and necessary to inform the Committee’s oversight and potential legislative reforms,” Jordan wrote in a letter to Pomerantz, according to the AP.

In response to Bragg’s lawsuit, Jordan tweeted, “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.”

The Times reported that the judge in Bragg’s lawsuit declined to issue a temporary restraining order to block the subpoena. Instead, she ordered Jordan’s lawyers to respond to the suit by April 17 and attend a hearing for April 19, the day Jordan scheduled Pomerantz to appear for a deposition.

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