Updated Apr 6, 2023 - Politics & Policy

House GOP subpoenas ex-prosecutor in escalation of Manhattan DA probe

This is Jim Jordan

Photo: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Thursday subpoenaed Mark Pomerantz, a former New York prosecutor who resigned in protest of Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s initial unwillingness to pursue charges against former President Trump.

Why it matters: The subpoena represents a major escalation in the House GOP’s investigation into Bragg’s prosecution of Trump over an alleged hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Driving the news: In a letter to Pomerantz, a former New York County special assistant district attorney, Jordan wrote that he is "uniquely situated to provide information that is relevant and necessary to inform the Committee’s oversight and potential legislative reforms."

  • According to Jordan, Pomerantz said in response to the committee's March 23 request for testimony and documents that the Manhattan DA's office had instructed him not to cooperate.
  • "In light of your disregard of our earlier voluntary request, please find attached a subpoena compelling your appearance for a deposition," Jordan wrote.

The backdrop: Pomerantz and Carey Dunne, who helped lead the Trump case under previous DA Cyrus Vance Jr., resigned last February, shortly after Bragg took office.

  • Their departures were reportedly in response to Bragg pausing the office's investigation into Trump.
  • Since that time, Bragg said at a press conference on Tuesday, "We have had available to the office additional evidence that was not in the office's possession prior to my time here" that informed his decision to seek an indictment of Trump.

What he's saying: Jordan argued in his letter on Thursday that Pomerantz "contributed to the 'political pressure' on District Attorney Bragg to bring charges against former President Trump."

  • He also outlined the legislative purpose underpinning the investigation: preventing "politically motivated prosecutions of Presidents of the United States (current or former) for personal acts."

The other side: Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, told Axios the subpoena constitutes "unprecedented meddling" by federal legislators into a state judicial matter.

  • "It is improper and it is an abuse of power. And I expect it to come to nothing, other than embarrassment for the chair of the House Judiciary Committee and his supporters," he said in an interview.

What we're watching: Jordan has also sought testimony and materials from Bragg and Dunne, but has kept quiet on whether he plans to issue a subpoena for either.

  • The subpoena of Pomerantz could kickstart a protracted legal fight if he chooses to challenge the committee's authority.
  • Pomerantz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

What's next: The subpoena orders Pomerantz to sit for a deposition in the Rayburn House Office Building on the morning of April 20, according to a copy reviewed by Axios.

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