Federal judge devastates DA Bragg in brutal rejection of effort to block GOP committee subpoena of former prosecutor in Trump case

 April 20, 2023

Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg filed a lawsuit against House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) to block a subpoena for testimony from a former top prosecutor in Bragg's office, Mark Pomerantz, in relation to Bragg's criminal indictment of former President Donald Trump.

Unfortunately for Bragg, a federal judge on Wednesday denied his request for a temporary restraining order against the committee's subpoena of Pomerantz, and thoroughly shredded the progressive district attorney in the process, the New York Post reported.

The committee demands answers from former prosecutor

Chairman Jordan and the House Judiciary Committee began closely scrutinizing DA Bragg in March ahead of the indictment of former President Trump and launched an investigation on the basis of Bragg's use of federal funds and in consideration of possible legislation to protect current and former presidents from politically motivated prosecutions at the state and local levels.

As part of that effort, Jordan announced on April 6 that he had subpoenaed Pomerantz for his testimony in light of his prior resignation in protest from Bragg's office over delays in indicting Trump, a subsequent book he wrote about the anti-Trump investigation, and public comments in media interviews about the whole ordeal.

Bragg then filed his lawsuit that accused Jordan and the committee of attempting to harass and interfere with a local prosecution without any legitimate legislative purpose and sought a temporary restraining order or an injunction to block the subpoena of Pomerantz and prevent his transcribed interview that was scheduled for April 20.

Judge using their own words against them

Law & Crime reported that a contentious hearing was held on Wednesday before U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil, a Trump appointee, who then issued her 25-page ruling on the matter just a few hours later in an opinion that trolled DA Bragg and Democrats more broadly by flipping an oft-repeated anti-Trump phrase back on them while also repeatedly citing prior Democratic court victories against Trump with regard to the validity of congressional subpoenas.

"The subpoena was issued with a 'valid legislative purpose' in connection with the 'broad' and 'indispensable' congressional power to 'conduct investigations.' It is not the role of the federal judiciary to dictate what legislation Congress may consider or how it should conduct its deliberations in that connection," Vyskocil wrote. "Mr. Pomerantz must appear for the congressional deposition. No one is above the law."

The judge proceeded to make more than a dozen references to "observations" in Pomerantz's book, "People v. Donald Trump: An Inside Account," virtually all of which undermined Bragg's indictment of the former president and proved that he had information the committee might find relevant.

She also ripped Bragg throughout the opinion for multiple violations of basic civil court procedures and wrote of the lawsuit itself, "The first 35 pages of the Complaint have little to do with the subpoena at issue and are nothing short of a public relations tirade against former President and current presidential candidate Donald Trump."

At another point, Judge Vyskocil wrote, "While the Court need not decide the ultimate merits of Bragg’s claims at this stage, serious constitutional infirmities are evident with respect to a lawsuit against Defendants Jordan and the Committee," and went on to devastatingly set up and knock down each one in turn.

In her conclusion, the judge made note of the political actions and arguments of both Bragg and the committee but wrote, "The Court does not endorse either side’s agenda. The sole question before the Court at this time is whether Bragg has a legal basis to quash a congressional subpoena that was issued with a valid legislative purpose. He does not."

Deposition on hold for now

In response to the ruling, a spokesman for Chairman Jordan said in a statement Wednesday night, "Today’s decision shows that Congress has the ability to conduct oversight and issue subpoenas to people like Mark Pomerantz, and we look forward to his deposition before the Judiciary Committee."

That deposition, originally scheduled for Thursday, has now been temporarily delayed, however, thanks to a temporary hold on the matter imposed by an appeals court, Politico reported.

DA Bragg had immediately appealed the district court's ruling to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday and that court responded with an administrative stay on the ordered deposition until it had at least received briefs over the weekend from Bragg and the committee ahead of what will be an emergency hearing next week before the next available three-judge panel.

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