DA Bragg agrees to testify to Congress about Trump prosecution, quibbles over proposed date and unspecified scope of hearing

 June 8, 2024

House Republicans, led by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH), have a lot of questions and are demanding answers from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg about his politically motivated criminal prosecution of former President Donald Trump.

In a surprising letter on Friday, Bragg's office informed Jordan that the DA was willing to testify before a special subcommittee, albeit not on the requested date due to "various scheduling conflicts," according to Just the News.

The response letter also sought clarity on the "scope and purpose" of the hearing and seemed to hedge on the "propriety" of allowing the similarly requested testimony of lead prosecutor Matthew Colangelo, a former high-ranking official in President Joe Biden's Justice Department who left the administration to take on a lead role in the anti-Trump prosecution.

Jordan has questions that need to be answered

On May 31, the day after former President Trump was declared guilty by the jury in his New York criminal trial, Chairman Jordan sent near-identical letters to DA Bragg and Assistant DA Colangelo to "respectfully request" their testimony at a June 13 of the Judiciary Committee's Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.

"This hearing will examine actions by state and local prosecutors to engage politically motivated prosecutions of federal officials, in particular the recent political prosecution of President Donald Trump by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office," Jordan wrote.

Bragg agrees to testify, quibbles on the date and scope of eventual hearing

Chairman Jordan's letter set June 7 as the deadline for DA Bragg and ADA Colangelo to respond with confirmation that they would appear and testify as requested at the June 13 subcommittee hearing.

The response letter from Bragg's office, signed by General Counsel Leslie Dubeck, did meet the June 7 deadline but lacked the confirmation the congressman had sought as it instead suggested that a different date for Bragg's appearance and testimony would need to be negotiated between staffers for the office and the committee.

"This Office is committed to voluntary cooperation," the letter from Dubeck stated. "That cooperation includes making the District Attorney available to
provide testimony on behalf of the Office at an agreed-upon date, and evaluating the propriety of allowing an Assistant District Attorney to testify publicly about an active prosecution to which he is assigned."

"However, the proposed date that the Subcommittee selected without consulting the Office presents various scheduling conflicts," Dubeck continued. "In addition, the Committee’s invitation has not made clear the scope of the proposed testimony; and trial court proceedings in People v. Trump are currently scheduled to continue through July 11, 2024."

"The trial court and reviewing appellate courts have issued numerous orders for the purpose of protecting the fair administration of justice in People v. Trump, and to participate in a public hearing at this time would be potentially detrimental to those efforts," the letter added.

Bragg previously rejected prior requests for congressional testimony

GC Dubeck further noted in the letter to Chairman Jordan, "The District Attorney’s Office therefore requests an opportunity to engage with Committee
staff to identify a new hearing date, and to better understand the scope and purpose of the proposed hearing."

"As with the prior inquiries from this Committee, we look forward to discussing with committee staff how the Office may be able to accommodate the Committee’s invitation while also protecting the integrity of an ongoing criminal prosecution and New York’s sovereign interests," she concluded.

Just the News observed that DA Bragg's apparent agreement to answer the committee's questions, albeit on a later date and with some additional specificity about what would be asked, is a rather significant departure from Bragg's prior rejections of Jordan's repeated requests for his testimony about the criminal prosecution of former President Trump.

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