House GOP leaders urge Manhattan DA Bragg to testify at Trump hearing

WASHINGTON — Three House Republican committee leaders sent a letter to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Brock on Monday demanding that he testify before Congress about any potential charges in the prosecutor’s money laundering investigation into former President Donald Trump, saying it was “clearly a politically motivated prosecutorial decision.”

“The charge against the former President of the United States and current declared candidate for that office: You are engaging in an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial power,” the letter read.

It comes ahead of a pending New York grand jury verdict in the case.

“This indictment is what your office has sought for years — on whatever grounds — to bring charges, and finally settles a new legal theory that has not been tested anywhere in the country and that federal authorities have refused to pursue,” the GOP lawmakers continued. “If these statements are accurate, your actions will undermine confidence in the equal application of justice and irrevocably interfere with the course of the 2024 presidential election.”

The letter was signed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio; House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky. and House Administration Committee Chairman Brian Steele, R-Wis.

The letter isn’t a subpoena, but it marks the groups’ first investigative action after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., vowed to investigate the people who questioned Trump.

GOP leaders have argued that Bragg’s “star witness” is former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who they allege has a “serious credibility problem.” They asked Bragg to share communications between his office and the Justice Department since January 2017 and other Trump-related documents. Leaders asked Bragg to testify “on these matters as soon as possible” in a transcript interview, and he requested documents and communications team staff to schedule his interview after 10 a.m. Thursday.

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A spokesperson for the DA’s office responded to the letter Monday, saying, “We will not be intimidated by attempts to undermine the justice process, nor will we allow unsubstantiated allegations to deter us from applying the law fairly.”

“In every case, we follow the law without fear or favor to bring out the truth. Our skilled, honest and dedicated lawyers work hard,” the spokesperson added.

The request for Bragg’s testimony comes after Trump indicated on Saturday that “illegal leaks” would lead to his arrest on Tuesday. In posts on his social media site, Truth Social, Trump referenced reports that he may soon face criminal charges in New York related to payments to adult film star Stormi Daniels.

Trump didn’t say Was he notified by law enforcement of Saturday’s impending indictment? Trump’s spokesman later clarified in a statement that he had “no notice other than illegal leaks from the Department of Justice and the DA’s office to NBC” and other news organizations.

NBC News reported Friday that law enforcement agencies were preparing to indict Trump earlier this week.

The grand jury has yet to return an indictment as its members heard testimony Monday from attorney Robert “Bob” Costello, a former legal adviser to Trump’s former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen.

Over the weekend, congressional Republicans voiced support for Trump ahead of a possible grand jury decision. At a House GOP conference retreat in Orlando, Florida, McCarthy defended Trump in full, dismissed Bragg’s investigation as politically motivated and said the attorney general was not interested in curbing rising crime in New York City.

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McCarthy, however, called for silence and urged Americans not to protest if the former president was indicted and arrested.

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