Rep. James Comer (R-KY) blasted Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for rejecting a congressional request for information regarding his investigation into former President Donald Trump, saying Bragg doesn’t have the “luxury” of determining whether or not he can comply with a congressional request.
“He’s investigating a presidential candidate, not to mention a former president of the United States, for a federal election crime that has no business being litigated in a local district attorney’s office,” Comer said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Bragg, Comer added, “doesn’t have the luxury of determining whether or not he can comply with a congressional request because he crossed over two levels of government, from the local level to the federal level, to try to prosecute something that clearly, if there was a reason for prosecution, it should be done by the Department of Justice on the federal level.”
Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Bryan Steil (R-WI), and Comer sent a letter to Bragg requesting that he testify before Congress “about what plainly appears to be a politically motivated prosecutorial decision” in potentially indicting Trump.
“You are reportedly about to engage in an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority: the indictment of a former president of the United States and current declared candidate for that office,” the letter said.
Bragg’s general counsel Leslie Dubeck issued a five-page response to Jordan, Steil, and Comer, saying that the letter is an “unprecedented inquiry into a pending local prosecution.”
Bragg’s office also called the lawmakers’ requests “an unlawful incursion into New York’s sovereignty,” arguing that “federal funding is an insufficient basis to justify these unconstitutional requests.”
Comer argued that Bragg should be more concerned in fighting New York’s high crime rate, saying that voters “rejected” Democrat candidates in the 2022 midterms because of the state’s “crime issue.”
Comer also labeled Bragg’s potential indictment of Trump a “political stunt,” arguing that tax dollars should not be spent on the Trump investigation, adding that House Republicans believe Bragg should explain “exactly what he’s investigating” because local district attorneys don’t usually investigate presidential candidates.
He continued by saying that if Bragg offers a good explanation regarding the Trump investigation, then House Republicans will “back off,” adding that if Trump did not run for president, Bragg wouldn’t investigate him.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. James Comer tells CNN's Jake Tapper that it's up to Rep. Jim Jordan whether to subpoena Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg over his investigation into former President Donald Trump. pic.twitter.com/od4IAWQavY
— CNN (@CNN) March 26, 2023
If Trump receives an indictment, he will be the first former president: to be charged with a crime.