Former prosecutor in Trump probe pleads Fifth in refusing to answer questions from Congress

GOP lawmakers signaled they are prepared to go to court to try to compel Pomerantz to testify.
Mark Pomerantz at Federal Court in New York

Former prosecutor Mark Pomerantz, who assisted in New York’s criminal investigation of former President Donald Trump, refused to answer questions about the case at a House Judiciary Committee deposition on Friday, according to a Republican lawmaker. 

Pomerantz repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during the interview, according to Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican.  

“I think it’s very appropriate to say this is an obstructing witness who has no intention of answering any questions,” Issa told the Associated Press

Pomerantz left Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office after quarrels over the handling of the Trump investigation over hush- money sent to adult film star Stormy Daniels. He was subpoenaed by the Republican committee and its GOP Chairman Jim Jordan over Bragg’s handling of Trump’s indictment.

The ex-prosecutor issued a statement accusing lawmakers of using their “subpoena power to compel me to participate in an act of political theater.

“This deposition is for show. I do not believe for a moment that I am here to assist a genuine effort to enact legislation or conduct legislative ‘oversight,’” he added.

The Manhattan prosecutor had sued Jordan to block interfering with Trump's case but agreed to Pomerantz’s testimony last month on the condition that lawyers from the prosecutor's office be present. 

Pomerantz argued that the subpoena put him in a tough position that would require him to violate his ethics. He has the right to refuse to answer questions that breach ethical obligations or legal privilege.

Trump faces 34 counts of falsifying business records to suppress harmful information that would have hurt his election campaign in 2016.  Trump has pleaded innocent and GOP lawmakers have attacked Bragg’s investigation for being a “political persecution.”

GOP lawmakers signaled they are prepared to go to court to try to compel Pomerantz to testify.

It would be “for the court to decide when we object to his failure to answer any questions,” Issa told the Associated Press.