House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on April 7 expanded his probe into the indictment of former President Donald Trump, asking for documents and testimony from a leading prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s (DA) criminal case against Trump.
Specifically, Jordan addressed a letter (pdf) to Matthew Colangelo, a senior counsel at the DA’s office and former Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney. The letter comes as part of the House GOP’s probe into the office of Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who is leading the case against Trump in New York.
On April 4, Trump appeared at the New York Supreme Court, where Bragg’s office charged him with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records related to a hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in the weeks before the 2016 presidential election. Daniels claims she had an affair with Trump in 2006, which Trump denies.
Trump has maintained his innocence, saying the case is politically motivated, a refrain echoed by many Republicans.
“You are uniquely situated to provide information that is relevant and necessary to inform the Committee’s oversight and potential legislative reforms,” Jordan wrote to Colangelo.
The letter noted that Bragg reportedly hired Colangelo to “jump-start” his investigation into Trump due to Colangelo’s past experience investigating the former president. Colangelo has worked on other investigations of Trump for both the New York attorney general’s office and the DOJ.
“You had previously served in senior positions in the U.S. Department of Justice and the New York Attorney General’s Office, both of which had competing investigations related to President Trump. Given your history of working for law-enforcement entities that are pursuing President Trump and the public reporting surrounding your decision to work for the New York County District Attorney’s Office, we request your cooperation with our oversight in your personal capacity,” Jordan wrote.
Jordan’s letter requests information about Bragg’s hiring of Colangelo, as well as Colangelo’s “personal motivation for or interest in working” for the DA’s office.
The move comes one day after Jordan issued a subpoena to Mark Pomerantz, a former prosecutor at the DA’s office who resigned in February 2022 because of Bragg’s initial unwillingness to pursue a criminal case against Trump.
The Manhattan DA’s office hit back at the subpoena, calling the GOP investigation an “abuse of power” that undermined an active criminal investigation.
House GOP Probes
Since the announcement of the indictment against Trump, Jordan has issued requests for testimony from Pomerantz and Carey Dunne, another former Manhattan prosecutor who resigned at the same time as Pomerantz.
Jordan, along with two House GOP committee chairs, has also sought testimony and documents from Bragg himself. The judiciary chair has criticized the criminal caes as “an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority.” Bragg’s office has denounced the probe, calling the congressional inquiry illegitimate.
Leslie Dubeck, general counsel for the Manhattan DA’s office, in a March 23 letter responding to a GOP request for testimony, wrote that complying “would interfere with law enforcement,” the requests for documents and communications “violate New York’s sovereignty,” and a “congressional review of a pending criminal investigation usurps executive powers.”
In his letter to Pomenrantz on Thursday, Jordan responded to these criticisms, saying that his investigations are entirely legal.
“The Supreme Court has recognized that Congress has a ‘broad and indispensable’ power to conduct oversight, which ‘encompasses inquiries into the administration of existing laws, studies of proposed laws, and surveys in our social, economic or political system for the purpose of enabling Congress to remedy them,’” Jordan wrote.
Further, Jordan said that Congress has “a specific and manifestly important interest” in “preventing politically motivated prosecutions of current and former Presidents by elected state and local prosecutors, particularly in jurisdictions—like New York County—where the prosecutor is popularly elected and trial-level judges lack life tenure.”
The Epoch Times has reached out to the Manhattan DA’s office for comment.
From The Epoch Times