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Bragg to House Committees: Nope

Three different House committees thought they would score points with Donald Trump by "investigating" Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg, who is expected to indict Trump shortly, possibly next week. The three chairmen are Reps. Jim Jordan (R-OH), James Comer (R-KY), and Bryan Steil (R-WI). They demanded a bundle of documents and an interview with Bragg. It didn't work. Bragg's general counsel, Leslie Dubeck, wrote the committee chairs a nice letter that said in part: "The District Attorney is obliged by the federal and state constitutions to protect the independence of state law enforcement functions from federal interference. In other words: No."

Here is a copy of her letter. She sent copies to the ranking members of each committee as well. Dubeck did offer to meet the chairmen, however, in case they don't understand what "no" means. She also said she would be willing to meet with staffers so they could explain what legitimate legislative purpose the members are working on and why they need information from the Manhattan D.A. to write whatever law they are considering. There is no way Bragg is going to give them inside information. Grand jury proceedings are secret. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the lead grandstander, has a law degree. He knows that very well.

The committees also asked what federal funds the office uses, Dubeck didn't say whether the office gets any federal funds but said she would look into it and let them know. Of course, if the office does get some federal funding, that would be because Congress appropriated the funding. She also said that possible questions about the use of federal funds do not justify giving out nonpublic information related to an ongoing investigation.

The three chairs didn't say what their next steps would be. They could try to subpoena Bragg, but he would almost certainly refuse, leading to endless court battles that would go on forever, by which time the indictment would be public. Among other grounds for refusing to cooperate would be federal-state issues and whether Congress has any authority over New York State's law enforcement agencies. A case like that could easily go to the U.S. Supreme Court and take years. Probably every state would file an amicus brief supporting New York if it came to that. None of them want Congress mucking around with their law enforcement. Even the Texas AG understands that if House committees can interfere with a law enforcement in New York, what's to stop Senate committees from interfering the next time Texas is investigating some doctor for performing an abortion in violation of Texas law. It's Jordan's move now. (V)

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