Manhattan DA sends scathing response to GOP’s request for testimony
Why it matters: Bragg’s response leaves Republicans with little room to maneuver in their effort to dent the probe’s credibility — forcing them to decide whether to venture into the uncharted territory of subpoenaing a local prosecutor.
Driving the news: In a letter to Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Oversight Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) and House Administration Chair Bryan Steil (R-Wis.), Bragg’s general counsel Leslie Dubeck said the GOP request is “an unprecedent inquiry into a pending local prosecution.”
- The House GOP's request to Bragg “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,” she wrote. “Neither fact is a legitimate basis for congressional inquiry.”
What she’s saying: Dubeck listed four ways in which, she argues, the House GOP’s request for testimony is improper.
- The letter seeks “non-public information about a pending criminal investigation, which is confidential under state law.”
- The requests are an “unlawful incursion into New York’s sovereignty” under the 10th Amendment, which is understood to prevent congressional inquiries into matters delegated to the states.
- Congress is “not the appropriate branch” to review a pending criminal case. Instead, Dubeck wrote, the courts are the “proper forum” for a challenge.
- Requests for information about the use of federal funding are “an insufficient basis to justify these unconstitutional requests.”
Yes, but: Dubeck said they would be willing to “meet and confer to understand whether the Committee has any legitimate legislative purpose in the requested materials that could be accommodated without impeding [New York’s sovereign police power].”
- She also said the DA’s office is “preparing and will submit a letter describing its use of federal funds.”
The other side: “Alvin Bragg should focus on prosecuting actual criminals in New York City rather than harassing a political opponent in another state,” the House Judiciary Committee GOP tweeted after the release of the letter.
- Jordan told Axios he is “reviewing the letter” and declined to weigh in on a possible subpoena.
Editor's note: This story was updated with additional reporting.