Attorneys for the House GOP and Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg will face off in court regarding Trump investigation

Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg's effort to block the Judiciary Committee's subpoena of one of his ex-investigators will be presided over by a Trump-nominated judge.

Lawyers for the House Judiciary Committee and the Manhattan district attorney’s office will face off in a New York courtroom on Wednesday over Republicans’ efforts to probe the DA’s investigation into former President Donald Trump.

District Attorney Alvin Bragg filed suit last week in federal court in Manhattan against the committee and its chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, charging that they’re improperly trying to interfere with his prosecution of Trump for political reasons.

Jordan maintains it’s Bragg’s investigation that is politically motivated. His committee has subpoenaed a former New York prosecutor, Mark Pomerantz, who’d been involved with the DA’s investigation, to testify Thursday.

Pomerantz’s previous role in the DA’s office leading a probe into Trump’s finances makes him “uniquely situated to provide information that is relevant and necessary” to his committee’s investigation, Jordan has said. He’s also noted that Pomerantz has already divulged information on the investigation in a book that was published in February, as well as in media interviews.

Bragg’s suit seeks a court order blocking the subpoena to Pomerantz, calling it an “unprecedently brazen and unconstitutional attack” on an ongoing investigation.

“Congress has no power to supervise state criminal prosecutions,’” Bragg’s lawyer, Theodore Boutrous, wrote in the lawsuit.

In another filing this week, the DA said: “Ensuring that this ongoing prosecution is not ‘politically motivated’ is the bailiwick of the New York courts, not the U.S. Congress.”

The legal dispute is being presided over by U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil, who was nominated by Trump in 2019 and easily confirmed in a bipartisan 91-3 Senate vote.

The committee urged the judge not to block the subpoena in a filing this month. “There is a ‘clear public interest in maximizing the effectiveness of the investigatory powers of Congress,’ and ‘the investigatory power is one that the courts have long perceived as essential to the successful discharge of the legislative responsibilities of Congress,’” the filing said.

Jordan, who snubbed a subpoena from the Democratically led House Jan. 6 committee last year, argued he’s not trying to interfere with the investigation. He contends that his committee needs the information from Pomerantz, in part, for a “legislative purpose” — a bill that would allow state criminal cases against former presidents to be moved to federal court.

Bragg pointed to that proposed legislation as proof that the committee is trying to interfere, because it “would apply to any cases pending at the time of enactment.”

“The record confirms the purpose of the subpoena is to advance a plan to intimidate, harass, retaliate, and hold ‘accountable’ District Attorney Bragg for enforcing New York’s criminal law against a then-New Yorker, Mr. Trump,” the DA argued.

“The Congressional Defendants want the District Attorney — an official endowed with the sovereign authority of the State of New York by its laws and its people — to bend the knee and to ‘explain to us exactly what he is doing.’”

Bragg, who has instructed Pomerantz not to respond to the committee’s subpoena, also sued Pomerantz to block his testimony, arguing that the interests and privileges of the DA’s office must be protected.

Pomerantz filed a declaration in court Monday asking the judge to block the subpoena for his testimony because he’s in an “impossible position.”

“[I]f I refuse to provide information to the Committee, I risk being held in contempt of Congress and referred to the Department of Justice for possible criminal prosecution. If, on the other hand, I defy the District Attorney’s instructions and answer questions, I face possible legal or ethical consequences, including criminal prosecution,” his filing noted.

Pomerantz, who resigned from Bragg’s office in February 2022, also stressed that he was “not involved in the decision to seek Donald Trump’s indictment on the charges filed against him.”

“I have had no conversations about prosecuting Mr. Trump with the District Attorney or any member of the prosecution team following my resignation,” Pomerantz said.

Jordan held a committee field hearing in Manhattan on Monday to attack Bragg. It featured victims of violent crime to highlight Republicans’ argument that Bragg has dropped the ball on keeping the public safe to focus on prosecuting Trump. Bragg’s office has pointed to new data showing crime has significantly fallen in Manhattan during his tenure.

The DA’s office had been investigating Trump for years, before Bragg took office.

Earlier this month, Bragg charged Trump with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to his alleged role in hush money payments toward the end of his 2016 presidential campaign. Trump haspleaded not guilty and called the investigation a partisan “witch hunt.”

More Stories

Stay informed by joining TruthRow

24/7 coverage from 1000+ journalists. Subscriber-exclusive events. Unmatched political and international news.

You can cancel anytime