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Manhattan DA pushes back on GOP request for documents, testimony in Trump probe

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Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Thursday hit back at GOP lawmakers demanding that two former prosecutors in his office testify and turn over documents related to the investigation of a hush-money payment former President Trump made to an adult film star.

Leslie Dubeck, the general counsel in Mr. Bragg’s office, fired off a letter to three Republican House committee chairmen who have accused the crusading district attorney of waging a political prosecution of Mr. Trump and threatened to haul him before Congress.

“Congress is not the appropriate branch to review pending criminal matters,” the letter stated.

Her letter comes less than a day after House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, dashed off a letter Wednesday night to the former prosecutors.

Ms. Dubeck said the Republicans’ request “came only after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day and his lawyers repeatedly urged you to intervene.”

“Neither fact is a legitimate basis for congressional inquiry,” she wrote. “Your letter treads into territory clearly reserved for the states.”

Ms. Dubeck also requested a meeting with lawmakers to better understand how their inquiry has a “legitimate legislative interest.”

Mr. Jordan sent letters to Mark Pomerantz and Carey Dunne, who last year quit the investigation into Mr. Trump because Mr. Bragg was reluctant to bring charges.

The letters from House Republicans demanded that the two testify before the panel and turn over documents, including any communications between Mr. Bragg’s office and the Justice Department. Mr. Jordan gave the former prosecutors until March 27 to provide the materials.

House Republicans have upped their scrutiny of Mr. Bragg as a grand jury in New York is deciding whether or not to indict the former president. The grand jury did not meet Thursday as expected, further delaying a possible indictment.

The grand jury is repeatedly weighing indicting Mr. Trump on charges of falsifying business records to conceal hush payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, who alleged an affair with Mr. Trump in 2006. Mr. Trump has denied the affair.

Mr. Pomerantz and Mr. Dunne oversaw the hush-money probe and pushed for criminal charges against Mr. Trump. Last month, Mr. Pomerantz released a book arguing that criminal charges were warranted and that former District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. had authorized him to pursue Mr. Trump’s indictment.

Although Mr. Vance abandoned the hush-money probe in 2019, shifting the investigation into other financial concerns, Mr. Pomerantz sought to resurrect it in January 2021, maintaining there was evidence Mr. Trump committed serious crimes.

In his letters, Mr. Jordan described the book as an effort to pressure Mr. Bragg into resurrecting a case that had been rejected by Mr. Vance and the Justice Department.

“Your actions, both as a prosecutor and since leaving the District Attorney’s Office cast serious doubt on the administration of fair and impartial justice in this matter,” Mr. Jordan wrote in the letters.

The Republican lawmaker said no new evidence has emerged since the case was brushed aside in 2019.

“The only intervening factor, it appears, was President Trump’s announcement that he would be a candidate for president in 2024,” Mr. Jordan wrote.