Apr 12, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Bragg strikes back

Alvin Bragg, Manhattan district attorney. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has gone public with details of death threats and what he calls "violent and racist vitriol" from Trump allies in the week since the former president was indicted.

Why it matters: A new lawsuit is part of the prosecutor's ferocious resistance to GOP efforts to call him to testify. Bragg's court battle with Trump now has a parallel court battle between Bragg and Trump backers.

  • The raw revelations are contained in an unusual 50-page lawsuit Bragg filed Tuesday aimed at House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

What's happening: The suit says the D.A.'s office has received more than 1,000 calls and emails from Trump supporters — "many of which are threatening and racially charged."

  • The suit goes so far as to say Trump's recent calls for protests "bears a striking resemblance" to tweets sent ahead of Jan. 6,
  • "Mr. Trump in particular has threatened New York officials with violent and racist vitriol," the filing states, quoting Trump at a March rally.
  • It goes on to cite other Trump threats on social media, including one calling Bragg a “SOROS BACKED ANIMAL."

Between the lines: It sometimes took House Democrats years to enforce their subpoenas in various Trump investigations. Now this lawsuit could slow down GOP efforts to investigate Bragg.

  • The suit attempts to block Republicans from demanding certain documents and subpoenaing witness testimony in their investigation of Bragg's work.
  • Alyssa DaCunha, co-chair of WilmerHale's congressional investigations practice, predicted the Bragg suit unlikely to prevail, but told Axios it would take time and tie up House Judiciary resources.
  • Former Nixon White House counsel John Dean tweeted: "Brilliant move by DA Bragg to block frivolous subpoenas from House Judiciary Committee by seeking a declaratory judgment in the US District Court" in the Southern District of New York.

Jordan reacted to the lawsuit on Fox News on Tuesday evening, telling "Special Report" anchor Bret Baier: "They are obstructing our constitutional duty to do oversight."

  • Jordan added his committee is planning legislation that would require future, similar cases to be moved to a federal court. "You don't try it in some local court," Jordan said. "This is a huge issue for the country and everyone sees it."
  • One such bill was introduced Tuesday.

What's next: Ahead of a field hearing planned by the Judiciary Committee to hammer Bragg on New York City crime, the lawsuit includes city crime statistics.

  • "The year-to-date statistics for New York City, and Manhattan specifically, continue to trend downward: homicides are down 14.3% and down further in Manhattan," the lawsuit reads, crediting the work of the DA's office.
Go deeper