Bragg’s Office Slams GOPers’ Demand For Testimony: Not A ‘Legitimate Basis For Congressional Inquiry’ 

“The Letter only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day and his lawyers reportedly urged you to intervene,” the DA’s office said.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. (Barry Williams/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
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Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office pushed back on House Republicans’ recent demand that he provide sworn testimony on his investigation into Donald Trump in the Stormy Daniels hush money case – an inquiry that came after the former president announced he expected to be arrested on Tuesday. 

The Manhattan DA’s general counsel Leslie B. Dubeck called the Republicans’ request ​​”an unprecedent(sic) inquiry into a pending local prosecution.”

“The Letter only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day and his lawyers reportedly urged you to intervene,” Dubeck wrote. “Neither fact is a legitimate basis for congressional inquiry.”

The response from the Manhattan DA’s Office comes just days after House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) — alongside House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-KY) and House Administration Committee Chair Brian Steil (R-WI) — demanded that Bragg testify about his investigation into the $130,000 hush money payment Trump made to Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign.  

“In light of the serious consequences of your actions, we expect that you will testify about what plainly appears to be a politically motivated prosecutorial decision,” the House GOP letter read.

Jordan and his MAGA allies also accused Bragg of pursuing a “politically motivated prosecution” and asked for documents related to any communications between the Justice Department and the DA’s office — a request rooted in Trump’s own conspiracy theories about the Biden Justice Department interfering in the investigation.

In their response, the DA’s office offered four ways in which the House GOP’s request for testimony is improper. 

House Republicans are seeking “non-public information about a pending criminal investigation, which is confidential under state law,” Dubeck argued in her first point.

She added the GOP request is an “unlawful incursion into New York’s sovereignty” under the Tenth Amendment, explaining, it is “generally understood that a Congressional committee may not “inquire into matters which are… reserved to the States.”

Dubeck also argued that Congress is “not the appropriate branch” to review a pending criminal case. The “allegation that the DA’s Office is pursuing a prosecution for political purposes is unfounded, and regardless, the proper forum for such a challenge is the Courts of New York,” she added.

Dubeck also explained that House Republicans’ demand for information based on supposed concerns about the use of federal funding is “an insufficient basis to justify these unconstitutional requests.”

Despite the objections laid out in the letter, the DA’s office did not flat out refuse to cooperate. Instead, they asked for a meeting to “confer with committee staff to better understand what information the DA’s Office can provide that relates to a legitimate legislative interest.”

“While the DA’s Office will not allow a Congressional investigation to impede the exercise of New York’s sovereign police power, this Office will always treat a fellow government entity with due respect,” the letter read. “Therefore, again, we request a meet and confer to understand whether the Committee has any legitimate legislative purpose in the requested materials that could be accommodated without impeding those sovereign interests.”

Read the letter here:

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Notable Replies

  1. Although I normally would not think this… I think we need more sternly worded letters in response to the GOP that lays out very clearly how wrong they are. This is a good start. NY should have been even more forceful.

  2. Emine?

    I just wanted to say thanks for all you do here.

  3. What a great letter: politely telling ‘em to pound sand, and laying out the legal case why.

  4. My guess is too many of the words were too big for the nincompoops to understand.

    Now the accusations will come that Bragg is hiding behind an illegitimate reading of the law. It’s not like any of the minions will contest it, since they don’t understand it themselves.

    Too many big words.

  5. There you go again, applying the GOP talking point of “state’s rights” to this matter. Now they’re going to have to be "anti-states-rights. It’s all your fault!

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