Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has a message for Republican lawmakers investigating his office’s investigation into former President Donald Trump’s role in paying hush money to Stormy Daniels: Back off.
If criminal charges are filed against Donald Trump in Manhattan, “it will be because the rule of law and faithful performance” of Bragg’s duty require it, read a letter sent Thursday by the prosecutor’s attorney to Republican leaders.
Bragg’s general counsel, Leslie Dubeck, was responding to lawsuits from House Republican committee chairs accusing him of investigating Trump as part of a political conspiracy. The committee led by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) demanded that Bragg voluntarily testify before Congress about the investigation.
Bragg’s general counsel described the letter as “an unprecedented investigation into a pending local prosecution,” noting that it came after Trump released unsubstantiated claims that he would be arrested Tuesday.
“The letter only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day and was reportedly urged by his lawyers to intervene. No fact is a legitimate basis for a congressional investigation.”
Bragg is believed to be nearing an impeachment decision in his office’s long-running investigation into Trump and his dealings. A grand jury convened in January has been hearing evidence about his hush money deal with porn star Stormy Daniels since January.
The panel heard from Michael Cohen twice in the past week. Trump declined an invitation to testify and his lawyers instead sent attorney Robert Costello, who tried to discredit Cohen as a liar.
The potential criminal charges against Trump would be the first brought against a former US president.
If Trump is indicted, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan will preside over the case, a source with direct knowledge told The News. Merchan presided over the trial of the Trump Organization and the case of its chief finance officer Allen Weisselberg.