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Manhattan district attorney sues Rep. Jim Jordan, seeking to block subpoena in Trump probe

Manhattan DA sues Jim Jordan over subpoena
Manhattan DA sues Rep. Jim Jordan over subpoena of former investigator 00:34

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg filed a federal lawsuit against GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, accusing them of seeking to interfere in his office's prosecution and investigation of former President Donald Trump.

The 50-page suit asks the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York to block Jordan and the committee from enforcing a subpoena sent to Mark Pomerantz, a former Manhattan prosecutor who led the investigation into Trump for about a year before resigning in February 2022 and writing a memoir about the case.

The suit claims the April 6 subpoena of Pomerantz is part of a "brazen and unconstitutional attack by members of Congress on an ongoing New York State criminal prosecution and investigation." 

"As our complaint details, this is an unprecedented, illegitimate interference by Congress that lacks any legal merit and defies basic principles of federalism," Bragg said in a statement.

Pomerantz is named as a defendant in the suit so that he can continue to decline to cooperate with the Judiciary Committee, as advised by Bragg's office, "without facing a risk of contempt proceedings," according to a spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office.

The Judiciary Committee, which Jordan chairs, has sought to investigate Bragg and his office over criminal charges against Trump that were unsealed on April 4. Jordan has accused Bragg of abusing his prosecutorial powers for political reasons, while Bragg's office has accused the Judiciary Committee of interfering in local law enforcement.

The lawsuit is the latest volley in a nearly month-long back-and-forth between congressional Republicans and Bragg's office, which began soon after Trump incorrectly predicted on March 18 that his arrest would be the following Tuesday, March 21. 

Trump was off by two weeks. On Tuesday, April 4, he turned himself in to Bragg's office, where he was arrested and arraigned on 34 counts of felony falsification of business records. Trump entered a not guilty plea and was released.

A spokesperson for Jordan did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Jordan criticized the lawsuit in a tweet Tuesday, writing, "First, they indict a president for no crime. Then, they sue to block congressional oversight when we ask questions about the federal funds they say they used to do it."

Jordan has said the committee's investigation might inform future legislation that would "insulate current and former Presidents from such politically motivated state and local prosecutions." Bragg's lawsuit said Jordan "has no power under the Constitution to oversee state and local criminal matters" and "[b]y definition, then, he has no legitimate legislative purpose for issuing this subpoena."

Bragg has said the charges against Trump were not filed out of political animus. The office's investigation dates back to 2018, more than three years before Bragg was elected.

Bragg's lawsuit accuses Jordan of seeking "highly sensitive and confidential local prosecutorial information" through his subpoena to Pomerantz. 

"Basic principles of federalism and common sense, as well as binding Supreme Court precedent, forbid Congress from demanding it," wrote attorneys for Bragg.

It also claims Jordan's subpoena violates New York State sovereignty.

"He has no power under the Constitution to oversee state and local criminal matters," Bragg's office wrote.

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