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House Judiciary probing whether DC Democrats intervened to pressure NY prosecutor to charge Trump

Committee seeks records of contacts White House, DOJ, Mueller team and Congress had with Alvin Bragg's office.

Published: March 22, 2023 11:17pm

Updated: March 22, 2023 11:34pm

Fresh off proving the Biden Justice Department had no basis for targeting school parents as domestic terrorists, House investigators led by Rep. Jim Jordan are pressing to determine if Democrats in the nation's capital have been politically pressuring Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to file criminal charges against former President Donald Trump over a seven-year-old financial transaction with a porn star.

Jordan told Just the News on Wednesday night that the House Judiciary Committee is worried that figures in the Biden White House, the Biden DOJ, Democrats in Congress or former associates of Russia Special Counsel Robert Mueller have been trying to lure Bragg into a decision that will inevitably impact the 2024 president election.

Lawmakers may get their first answer Thursday evening, when Bragg is due to answer questions and turn over evidence requested by Jordan and other GOP chairmen, including whether any federal agencies have spent tax dollars to assist his probe.

"It's one of the questions we asked: Is their involvement with elected officials here in Congress?" Jordan said during a wide-ranging interview with the "Just the News, No Noise" television show. "There's been reports in the news that Democrats have been working with Bragg, pushing Bragg, and helping Bragg in this direction. So that's something that we think it's important to understand, not to mention the federal money."

The evidence that now-disgraced Trump lawyer Michael Cohen made a $130,00 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels as part of a non-disclosure agreement in fall 2016 first surfaced during the Mueller investigation, when prosecutors raised questions about whether it was an improper campaign contribution from Trump's company. The prosecutors, however, chose not to bring charges, and the federal statute of limitations has since expired.

Bragg's office is now considering reviving that case under New York state law, though it faces significant hurdles over the statute of limitations and the question of whether a felony can be charged for a crime defined in state law as a misdemeanor.

Jordan said the origins of the allegations in the Mueller probe were particularly interesting to his investigators.

"This looks like it sprang out of the special counsel's investigation, the Mueller investigation," he said, raising concern whether federal prosecutors should be sending matters to state investigators. "So we want to examine it for that reason as well. We may need to change the special counsel statute at some point. Who knows. But that's, I think, an important question we're asking."

Jordan said the first step in his probe is simply to determine if Bragg is willing to respond to Congress and what answers and evidence he offers.

On Wednesday night, Jordan sent letters to two prosecutors who quit Bragg’s office last year over disagreements about charging Trump, demanding they submit to interviews with Congress.

“In light of this unprecedented and overzealous partisan investigation, Congress has a keen interest in these facts to inform potential legislation to improve the functioning and fairness of our criminal justice system, and to better delineate prosecutorial authority between federal and local officials,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Jordan's committee is moving to find legislative fixes to a blockbuster report it issued earlier this week showing the Justice Department did not have a lawful basis for ordering an investigation of school parents protesting at school boards as domestic terrorists, a finding that included direct confirmation from federal prosecutors there were no known terrorism concerns or evidence about the parents at the time Attorney General Merrick Garland ordered the probe. Garland has since apologized for the episode.

The probe was "manufactured — and that's not my term, that's the term one of the U.S. attorneys used," Jordan said. "You've got to remember these are Democrat U.S. attorneys. That's the term they used. It seemed to be manufactured. They said they talked to local law enforcement, local law enforcement in their jurisdiction was saying like, 'What are we doing here? Why is this a federal issue to begin with?' So — manufactured issue done for political reasons."

Jordan said House Republicans studying the weaponization of federal agencies in recent years to target parents, traditional Catholics, pro-life activists, social media posters and others whose speech is protected will likely create legislation to fix the ills that have been uncovered using the power of the purse.

One goal is "to use the appropriations process to use the power of the purse and say, 'Look, no money can be used to target parents. No money can be used to target pro-lifers and traditional Catholics,'" Jordan explained.

"You limit the funds to be used for misinformation, malinformation, disinformation, this whole disinformation governance concept that that the government was trying to do," he added. "That's probably where we will have the most impact and where we need to focus."

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