Manhattan’s witless district attorney has sued to block Congress from asking any questions about his quixotic indictment of Donald Trump. Seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO), Alvin Bragg imagines that he’s above the law and that the House Judiciary Committee is below it. That’s backwards.
Bragg accuses Chairman Jim Jordan of an “unconstitutional attack” on his unconstitutional indictment of Trump, oblivious to the obvious irony. Jordan subpoenaed the DA’s former assistant, Mark Pomerantz, to testify. Bragg is now fearful that his sham charges will unravel like a ball of string.
Yes, this is the same Pomerantz who wrote an unethical tell-all book openly admitting that the case against Trump was politically motivated and that the former president was targeted because “he posed a real danger to the country and to the ideals that mattered to me.” This is exactly what prosecutors are duty-bound not to do.
The silliest part of Bragg’s lawsuit rests on his assertion that any inquiry will expose “highly sensitive and confidential local prosecutorial information.” Cue the laugh track. Pomerantz already breached every confidence in the book —literally. There’s not much left except the public flogging of a rogue prosecutor, which is richly deserved.
U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil refused to grant the TRO. She has scheduled a hearing for April 19, one day before Pomerantz is set to show his sorry self on Capitol Hill.
In court, Judiciary Committee attorneys will likely argue that Bragg’s lawsuit is without merit because Congress has broad oversight authority derived from its legislative vesting powers in Article 1 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has repeatedly reinforced this right and duty when it involves federal matters.
In this case, there are three specific reasons why the Committee is justified in issuing subpoenas and compelling testimony.
First, by pursing charges against Trump based on federal campaign finance laws, Bragg is usurping a federal power. A local prosecutor is well beyond his jurisdictional authority by attempting to bootstrap a federal crime to a state misdemeanor.
Second, Pomerantz offers indisputable evidence that Bragg’s indictment is politically driven in a transparent effort to interfere in a federal election. It is no coincidence that that the DA reversed course and targeted Trump the moment he announced his candidacy for president. Bragg himself ran on the campaign pledge to persecute Trump. There’s nothing more political than that.
Third, the district attorney recently admitted that federal funds were used to further his case against Trump. Congress has every right to examine whether U.S. taxpayer money was misused for a malevolent purpose.
It is the duty of a prosecutor to see that justice is done equitably. Instead, Bragg invented a crime that doesn’t exist to pin on his party’s political nemesis. Now, the DA wants to foreclose any legitimate questions about his partisan scheme.
Bragg should be in the dock, not Trump, for selective prosecution, dishonesty, and blatant misconduct that rises to the level of disbarment. But that would require a system of justice that is both blind and fair. Sadly, ours is not.