Watch CBS News

House Judiciary chair subpoenas former Manhattan prosecutor who investigated Trump

Trump lashes out after pleading not guilty
Trump lashes out after pleading not guilty to felony charges 04:52

The Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committees has issued a subpoena demanding the testimony of a former Manhattan prosecutor who previously led the investigation into former President Donald Trump that led to his indictment on March 30.

Mark Pomerantz, who was a special assistant district attorney in Manhattan for about a year in 2021 and early 2022, turned down a request to voluntarily cooperate with a congressional investigation into the office that charged Trump, according to a letter sent Thursday by Rep. Jim Jordan.

"We received a reply letter dated March 27, 2023, stating that, at the instruction of the New York County District Attorney's Office, you would not cooperate with our oversight," wrote Jordan, using the formal designation for Manhattan. 

Jordan harshly criticized the investigation into Trump, who was arraigned on 34 felony counts of falsification of business records on Tuesday. The charges stem from an alleged scheme to suppress stories and allegations about his personal life, beginning in 2015, that Trump believed might harm his campaign, according to the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Trump entered a not guilty plea on all charges and has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

Trump, the leading candidate with the 2024 Republican nomination, has accused Bragg, a Democrat, of pursuing the case for political gain. The Judiciary chair echoed that accusation Thursday, and claimed his investigation might inform future legislation.

"The New York County District Attorney's unprecedented prosecutorial conduct requires oversight to inform the consideration of potential legislative reforms that would, if enacted, insulate current and former Presidents from such politically motivated state and local prosecutions," Jordan wrote.

Bragg has denied pursuing the case for political ends, and said the House GOP is trying to "undermine an active investigation and ongoing New York criminal case with an unprecedented campaign of harassment and intimidation." 

"Repeated efforts to weaken state and local law enforcement actions are an abuse of power and will not deter us from our duty to uphold the law," he said in a statement.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Bragg said that a "thorough investigation" preceded bringing charges against Trump. 

"This is the business capital of the world," Bragg said about New York City. "We regularly do cases involving false business statements. The bedrock of the basis for business integrity and a well-functioning business marketplace is accurate record-keeping."

Bragg's general counsel, Leslie Dubeck, argued in a pair of March letters that the congressional investigation was an "unprecedent[ed]" interference into an ongoing criminal inquiry and a violation of New York's sovereignty, rebuffing the chairmen's demand for document and Bragg's testimony.

Jordan wrote in the letter that Pomerantz should not be shielded from testifying about his experiences investigating Trump because he published a book about his work on the case and discussed it in an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes."

"You have no basis to decline to testify about matters before the Committee that you have already discussed in your book and/or on a prime-time television program with an audience in the millions," he wrote.

A spokesperson for Pomerantz did not return a request for comment.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that the letter was from the Judiciary Committee chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan, and did not include chairs of other committees.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.