Manhattan DA sues GOP's Jim Jordan as feud escalates over Trump's prosecution

The lawsuit accuses Jordan of a "campaign to intimidate and attack" Bragg.

April 11, 2023, 3:09 PM

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Tuesday sued Republican Rep. Jim Jordan for what he called an "unprecedentedly brazen and unconstitutional attack by members of Congress."

The 50-page lawsuit alleges Jordan has launched a "transparent campaign to intimidate and attack" on Bragg amid the historic indictment of former President Donald Trump.

Trump, who has repeatedly denied the charges against him, was arraigned last week and pleaded not guilty to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree in an alleged hush money "scheme" to influence the 2016 election.

Jordan, one of Trump's biggest supporters on Capitol Hill, has led the charge against Bragg along with other GOP chairs of influential House committees. The chairmen last month demanded documents related to Bragg's investigation of Trump and testimony from the district attorney himself.

Last week, Jordan subpoenaed Mark Pomerantz to give deposition related to his role in investigating Trump and Trump's businesses. Pomerantz is a former prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney's office who resigned last year over Bragg's reluctance at the time to pursue the case against Trump.

Bragg's lawsuit seeks to stop the enforcement of the subpoena, arguing "basic principles of federalism and common sense, as well as binding Supreme Court precedent, forbids Congress from demanding it."

"Congress has no power to supervise state criminal prosecutions. Nor does Congress have the power to serve subpoenas for the personal aggrandizement of the investigators or to punish those investigated," the lawsuit said. "Yet that is precisely what Chairman Jordan is trying to do."

The lawsuit accused Jordan and the House Republicans of “participating in a campaign of intimidation, retaliation, and obstruction" and noted how Trump “has threatened New York officials with violent and racist vitriol.”

The tense back-and-forth between Bragg and Jordan had continued Monday as House Republicans announced plans to hold a hearing on New York City crime in Bragg's backyard.

PHOTO: Rep. Jim Jordan, left, and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg are seen in this split photo
Rep. Jim Jordan, left, and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg are seen in this split photo
Left: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster; Right: Kena Betancur/Getty Images

The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by Jordan, will hold a field hearing on April 17 in New York City to discuss "victims of violent crime in Manhattan." There, lawmakers will examine what the committee called Bragg's "pro-crime policies" that have led to a "dangerous community" for residents, according to a press release issued on Monday night.

A spokesperson for Bragg's office quickly shot back: "Don't be fooled, the House GOP is coming to the safest big city in America for a political stunt. This hearing won't engage actual efforts to increase public safety, such as supporting national gun legislation and shutting down the iron pipeline."

The spokesperson also said New York City had a murder rate "nearly three times lower" than that of Columbus, Ohio -- Jordan's home turf.

That data appeared to be pulled from Wirepoints, an Illinois- based nonprofit, which found New York City had 5.2 homicides per 100,000 people compared with Columbus' 15.4 homicides per 100,000 residents using publicly available homicide data for 2022.

Violent crime decreased during the first three months of this year, with shootings falling by 23% and homicides falling by 12.7% in the first quarter compared to the same period last year, the New York Police Department recently announced.

"If Chairman Jordan truly cared about public safety, he could take a short drive to Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Akron, or Toledo in his home state, instead of using taxpayer dollars to travel hundreds of miles out of his way," the spokesperson for Bragg said.

Not long after Bragg's lawsuit was filed, Jordan tweeted, "First, they indict a president for no crime. Then, they sue to block congressional oversight when we ask questions about the federal funds they say they used to do it."

ABC News' Lauren Peller contributed to this report.

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