House Republicans Continue Show Support For Donald Trump; Not Able to Fend Off Indictment

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  • Source: Wayne Dupree
  • 03/21/2023
As the former president is potentially facing criminal charges in connection with a hush-money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign, House Republicans launched their most recent defense of him on Monday.

Republicans Jim Jordan, James Comer, and Bryan Steil have demanded documents and testimony from the Manhattan district attorney looking into Trump's involvement in the hush-money payment, calling any potential indictment "an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority." These three Republicans are well-known Trump allies and the chairs of the influential House judiciary, oversight, and administration committees, respectively.

In a letter to Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, the lawmakers stated, "In light of the serious repercussions of your actions, we hope that you will testify regarding what plainly appears to be a politically motivated prosecutorial decision.


The call from the GOP-led Congress comes as a number of well-known Trump fans have come out in favor of him despite rumors that a Manhattan grand jury is close to indicting the former president.

It is unlikely that Bragg will hand over any evidence from the investigation or appear before Congress given that the investigation is still open. Additionally, it's not clear what sanctions, if any, Congress may apply on Bragg's office in the absence of the Justice Department's support.

"There's no real quick method for them to enforce this," Stan Brand, former House counsel and partner at his law company, Brand Woodward Law, said of the letter. So, I am unsure of their intended outcome.

In fact, the Justice Department would need to file a criminal prosecution after receiving a referral from the House, as it did with former Trump advisers Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro, in order to compel Bragg or his staff to provide records and testimony to legislators.

Justice Department exists "a subpoena to Alvin Bragg be enforced? Brand responded, "I don't think so, but it's an open question "whether Congress even has the authority to look into the Manhattan District Attorney's investigation.

The three House Republicans wrote that Bragg's inquiry "needs legislative scrutiny about how public safety funding authorized by Congress are executed by local law enforcement agencies" and linked it to worries about how his office used federal cash.

In their letter, the GOP legislators also noted that the federal prosecutors who looked into the hush-money payment had concluded their inquiry without indicting Trump.

In order to inform prospective legislative improvements about the division of prosecutorial authority between federal and local officials, the letter added that Bragg's "apparent determination to pursue criminal charges where federal authorities declined to do so" calls for oversight.

Many legal authorities have questioned Bragg's investigation. The letter is "poor form," according to Ty Cobb, a former Trump White House attorney, despite the members' legitimate objections.

Cobb stated, "I detest it every time Congress — regardless of who — does this in the midst of a, even erroneous, criminal attempt. Even though most of what they claim in their letter is true, it's embarrassing that Congress would want to interfere with the prosecution at this point. It's just a bad-looking, evil power play, you know.

However, the letter from Monday comes after House Speaker Kevin McCarthy promised to open up congressional probes into Bragg's office in advance of a potential Trump indictment.

McCarthy tweeted on Saturday, "Here we go again - an appalling abuse of authority by a radical DA who lets dangerous murderers walk while he chases political vengeance on President Trump. "I'm ordering the appropriate committees to look into whether government monies are being used to undermine our democracy by meddling in elections with politically motivated prosecutions," the statement read.

Trump, on the other hand, maintains that he did "absolutely nothing wrong" and has denied having an affair with Daniels. In 2018, Cohen entered a plea of guilty to five felonies linked to the payment, including tax evasion, bank fraud, and violations of campaign finance laws.

The former president predicted his arrest for Tuesday without providing any supporting proof over the weekend. Yet, according to his counsel, there was no indication that Trump was going to be arrested. The Manhattan grand jury investigating the matter was still hearing testimony from witnesses as of Monday, and sources told Insider over the weekend that no surrender date had yet been established.

Trump also urged his fans to "protest" and "take our nation back" in his Saturday Truth Social post, in which he claimed he would be detained on Tuesday.

He penned "IT'S TIME!!!" in the post. "We simply cannot continue to permit this. When we stand by and do nothing, THEY ARE KILLING OUR NATION. America MUST BE SAVED! RESIST, RESIST, RESIST!"

Later on Saturday, Bragg sent an email to his staff in which he stated that his office "will not accept attempts to intimidate our office or endanger the rule of law in New York."

The prosecutor's office is collaborating with the court and NYPD, the prosecutor's office continued, "to guarantee that any specific or credible threats against the office will be adequately investigated and that the right protections are in place so that all 1,600 of us enjoy a secure work environment."

"We will not be intimidated by attempts to subvert the judicial process, nor will we let unsubstantiated claims dissuade us from fairly enforcing the law," a representative for Bragg's office said in a statement to Insider, defending the district attorney's record.

"We adhere to the law in every prosecution without fear or favor in an effort to learn the truth. Our committed, skilled, and ethical attorneys continue to put in long hours, "added the statement.

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