OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
A Republican House Judiciary Committee staffer was verbally abused by someone in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office late last week following multiple attempts to obtain some information, according to a report.
News broke last week that the grand jury Bragg convened to investigate former President Donald Trump for an alleged improper “hush money” payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. Trump predicted on social media that he would be indicted by Bragg’s grand jury, but that didn’t happen. In fact, not only has there not been an indictment at all, but Bragg released the grand on Thursday for at least a week.
As part of the Trump investigation, a House Judiciary Committee staffer contacted Bragg’s office multiple times this week to request documents. In response, a Bragg staffer reportedly told them, according to the New York Post: “Your committee has no jurisdiction over us. You’re wrong. Stop calling us with this bullshit.”
On Thursday, a spokesperson from Bragg’s office responded to House Republicans after they launched an investigation earlier in the week into his Trump probe, stating that they did not have a “legitimate basis” for their inquiry.
Leslie Dubeck, the in-house general counsel for the prosecutor leading the investigation, referred to the lawmakers’ request for communications, documents, and testimony as “an unprecedented inquiry into a pending local prosecution.”
Their requests, Dubeck noted further, “are an unlawful incursion into New York’s sovereignty. Congress’s investigative jurisdiction is derived from and limited by its power to legislate concerning federal matters,” according to the Daily Wire.
In response to reports suggesting that an indictment against Trump was imminent, House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-KY), and House Administration Committee Chairman Bryan Steil (R-WI) wrote a letter to Bragg on Monday, warning of “an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority: the indictment of a former President of the United States and current declared candidate for that office.”
Dubeck further claimed their inquiry “only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day and his lawyers reportedly urged you to intervene.”
“Neither fact is a legitimate basis for congressional inquiry,” Dubeck added in the correspondence, which was posted online by Punchbowl News.
Dubeck referred to a New York Times report which stated that Trump’s lawyer, Joseph Tacopina, had written to Jordan last month, urging Congress to investigate the “egregious abuse of power” by what he characterized as a “rogue local district attorney.”
Dubeck concluded by saying that Bragg’s team “will not allow a Congressional investigation to impede the exercise of New York’s sovereign police power” but added that his office “will always treat a fellow government entity with due respect.” As such, Dubeck added, Bragg’s team would be requesting a “meet and confer to understand whether the Committee has any legitimate legislative purpose in the requested materials that could be accommodated without impeding those sovereign interests.”
Other notable figures have criticized Bragg for launching the investigation in the first place.
“I don’t understand why Bragg is putting such emphasis on this case,” former New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo told WABC Radio on Friday.
“A person breaks the law, I get it, but on the state side, this is a misdemeanor case. It’s really a federal case because he needs it to be a campaign finance fraud case which is a federal case, and that’s what Bragg is going to have to do to get a felony out of this,” he said.
The former governor said that people are generally “cynical” and “when they see prosecutors bringing these political cases,” it just “affirms everybody’s cynicism.”
“I think it’s all politics, and that’s what I think the people of this country are saying,” he said. “It just feeds that anger and that cynicism and the partisanship. It’s a coincidence that Bragg goes after Trump and [NY Attorney General Letitia James] goes after Trump, and Georgia goes after Trump? That’s all a coincidence? I think it feeds the cynicism, and that’s the cancer in our body politic right now.”
However, he added that he does believe an indictment will be coming for Trump next week based on how simple it is to indict anyone if you want to.
“I’m sure they’ll get an indictment,” he said.