The Manhattan district attorney’s office slammed House Republicans for trying to interfere with its investigation into former president Donald Trump.
On Friday morning, the DA’s office released a letter it sent to House Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Bryan Steil (R-WI), and James Comer (R-KY) responding to their politically-motivated inquiries into District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s probe into Trump and the 2016 hush money payment.
Bragg had just indicted Trump on Thursday, which Trump’s followers in Congress weren’t happy about.
“Like any other defendant, Mr. Trump is entitled to challenge these charges in court and avail himself of all processes and protections that New York State’s robust criminal procedure affords,” Leslie Dubeck, a general counsel in the DA’s office, wrote. “What neither Mr. Trump nor Congress may do is interfere with the ordinary course of proceedings in New York State.”
The back-and-forth started on March 20, when Jordan, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, sent Bragg a letter demanding sworn testimony on the motivations behind his probe, as well as raising conspiracy theories about coordination between Bragg and the Justice Department—essentially carrying water for Trump, who accused Biden of “stuffing” the D.A.’s office with “Department of Injustice people” on Truth Social just one day prior. Trump and his lawyers have also been in direct contact with House Republicans about the investigation.
The D.A.’s office struck back the next day: “We will not be intimidated by attempts to undermine the justice process, nor will we let baseless accusations deter us from fairly applying the law,” a spokesperson told Fox News. “In every prosecution, we follow the law without fear or favor to uncover the truth. Our skilled, honest and dedicated lawyers remain hard at work.”
But the Trumpist Republicans weren’t deterred. That Saturday, Jordan described Bragg’s investigation in a letter as a “reported effort to indict a former President of the United States.”
So, the DA’s office returned with a lengthier rebuke immediately following the grand jury’s vote to indict Trump. They hadn’t responded substantially the first time due to legal constraints, Dubeck explained. “That secrecy is critical to protecting the privacy of the target of any criminal investigation as well as the integrity of the independent grand jury’s proceedings.”
She also pointed out that Jordan had been in communications with the target of their investigation.
“[B]ased on your reportedly close collaboration with Mr. Trump in attacking this Office and the grand jury process, it appears you are acting more like criminal defense counsel trying to gather evidence for a client than a legislative body seeking to achieve a legitimate legislative objective,” she wrote.
“The documents and information relating to the pending criminal case would be relevant only if Congress is intending to specifically prevent this prosecution,” she added, “an intent that you purport to disclaim.”
Finally, the general counsel castigated the trio for using their positions as lawmakers and committee chairs to promote bad faith attacks.
“As Committee Chairmen, you could use the statute of your office to denounce these attacks and urge respect for the fairness of our justice system and for the work of the impartial grand jury,” Dubeck wrote. Instead, she said, they chose to collaborate with Trump’s efforts to “vilify and denigrate the integrity” of state prosecutors and trial judges, and make unfounded claims that the case is politically motivated.
“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 wrote.