GOP House chair blasts Manhattan DA for ‘engaging with federal agencies’ to unfairly prosecute former President Donald Trump
- Rep. Bryan Steil signed letter calling Bragg’s investigation ‘politically motivated’
- He re-upped criticism as Manhattan grand jury reconvened on Monday
- DA Bragg said inquiry is meant to ‘undermine the legitimate work’ of prosecutors
House Administration Committee Chairman Rep. Bryan Steil of Wisconsin doubled down on a demand that Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg be investigated for seeking to ‘usurp’ federal jurisdiction in a probe of former President Donald Trump.
Steil, along with two other Republican committee chairmen, demanded Bragg provide information and testimony, and said he faced ‘political pressure from left-wing activists.’
The lawmakers also have threatened legislative action to protect former and current presidents from ‘politically-motivated prosecutions’ – prompting Bragg to accuse them of inappropriately seeking to interfere in an investigation.
‘I think what is so essential is we make sure every American is treated equally under the law role for federal oversight when funds going to the D.A.,’ Steil told Fox News on Monday. ‘The concern is re-purposing federal funds to pursue a political agenda. That’s a question that the House of Representatives needs to know, and the American people deserve to know an answer to.’
Rep. Bryan Steil (R-WI) on Monday doubled down on a push to seek testimony from Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who is leading an investigation of former President Donald Trump
His pushback was on the same day the Manhattan grand jury met amid Bragg’s probe of the ‘hush’ agreement former President Donald Trump reached with porn star Stormy Daniels. Former National Enquirer executive David Pecker left the courthouse Monday afternoon amid reports that a mystery witness was seen inside a car approaching the Manhattan criminal court.
Steil and his GOP allies have pointed to reports that Bragg may bring charges related to federal campaign finance laws. Former Trump fixer Michael Cohen, who was sentenced to three years in prison in connection with the matter, pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations related to the payments, which he facilitated using funds from a home loan.
He phrased many of his criticisms as questions.
Steil asked whether Bragg ‘is engaged with federal agencies, particularly the Department of Justice, and whether or not he is trying to usurp the federal law of enforcing federal law, in this case the federal election violations.’
‘Are they coordinating with federal agencies, including the DOJ?’ he asked.
He also defended the request by Trump’s Republican allies in Congress to demand testimony from a local prosecutor before charges have yet been brought in a case.
‘There is a federal nexus, and he should answer the questions we presented to him,’ he said.
Bragg unloaded in his own statement, which followed a March 25 letter from Steil, Judiciary Chairman and Trump ally Rep. Jim Jordan, Oversight’s Chairman Rep. James Comer, who has been heading a probe of the Biden family including Joe Biden’s son Hunter.
‘This unprecedented inquiry by federal elected officials into an ongoing matter serves only to hinder, disrupt and undermine the legitimate work of our dedicated prosecutors,’ the Manhattan District Attorney tweeted last week. ‘As always, we continue to follow the facts and be guided by the rule of law in everything we do.’
Trump attacked DA Alvin Bragg again at a weekend rally
The letter GOP lawmakers sent Saturday rejects Bragg’s claim that his testimony would prove Congress is improperly interfering in state and local matters
Three GOP chairmen, including Steil, signed the letter to Bragg
The former president acknowledged that he approved a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to settle what he called a ‘nuisance fee’ but denied the affair.
The House Republican lawmakers also have trained their sights on two former prosecutors who resigned from the Manhattan DA’s office over the handling of his investigation into former President Trump.
Attorney Mark Pomerantz and Carey Dunne sought to prosecute Trump in 2022 and resigned after Bragg rejected their legal theories.
That came amid a lack of movement in what had been dubbed a ‘zombie’ case.
The letter notes that the two ‘resigned from the office over Bragg’s initial reluctance to move forward with charges in 2022.’
‘Bragg is now attempting to ‘shoehorn’ the same case with identical facts into a new prosecution,’ said the letter.
Trump himself has repeatedly railed against Pomerantz, who wrote book about the case against Trump.