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Bragg 'allowed political motivations' to 'infect' prosecution of Trump, House Judiciary GOP says


EXCLUSIVE: The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office “allowed political motivations and animus to infect its prosecutorial discretion,” the House Judiciary Committee argued in a report Thursday, saying charges were brought against former President Trump employed a “dangerously low threshold” to prosecute “political opponents.”

The GOP-led committee released a 300-page report Thursday, exclusively obtained by Fox News Digital, titled “An Anatomy of a Political Prosecution: The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Vendetta Against President Donald J. Trump.” 

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The committee, led by Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, has been investigating the “unprecedented” multi-year investigation into Trump led by the Manhattan’s DA office since last year, when current DA Alvin Bragg indicted Trump. 

Bragg charged Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree related to alleged hush money payments made before the 2016 presidential election. Trump pleaded not guilty. His criminal trial is currently taking place in New York City. 

Donald Trump sits in the courtroom for the first day of opening arguments in his Manhattan criminal trial.

Former president Donald Trump faces criminal trial in a Manhattan courtroom (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura, Pool)

“The DANY has been investigating President Trump since at least 2018, searching for any legal theory on which to bring charges,” the report states. “These charges are normally misdemeanors subject to a two-year statute of limitations, but Bragg used a novel and untested legal theory—previously declined by federal prosecutors—to bootstrap the misdemeanor allegations as a felony, which extended the statute of limitations to five years, by alleging that records were falsified to conceal a second crime.” 

Prosecutors revealed during the criminal trial this week that the alleged “second crime” was a violation of a New York law called “conspiracy to promote or prevent election.” Prosecutors will try to prove that the alleged conspiracy was to conceal a conspiracy to unlawfully promote his candidacy.

“The facts at the center of Bragg’s political prosecution have not changed since 2018 and no new witnesses emerged between then and the date on which Bragg filed the indictment,” the report states. “The Justice Department examined the facts in 2019 and chose not to prosecute the case.” 

Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg

Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg.  (Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

But the report points out that even with the DOJ’s decision, Bragg “convened a new grand jury in January [2023] to evaluate the issue.” 

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“Bragg ultimately settled on a novel legal theory untested anywhere in the country and one that federal authorities declined to pursue to resurrect the matter,” the report states. 

Republicans added that “the only intervening factor, it appears, was President Trump’s announcement that he would be a candidate for President in 2024.” 

The report states that Congress “has a specific and manifestly important interest in preventing politically-motivated prosecutions of current and former presidents by elected state and local prosecutors, particularly in jurisdictions—like New York County—where the prosecutor is popularly elected and trial-level judges lack life tenure.” 

Rep. Jim Jordan gives a press conference

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan holds a press conference at the U.S. Capitol. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Bragg’s decision to bring charges against Trump after he became a candidate for president “required the Committee to consider potential legislative reforms to insulate current and former Presidents from such politically motivated state and local prosecutions,” the report states. 

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Former Manhattan DA prosecutor Mark Pomerantz testified before the committee in a deposition as part of the investigation. Pomerantz declined to answer most questions, but told the committee that was largely due to the then-pending investigation into Trump.

Pomerantz, a donor to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, previously worked on the Trump investigation with ex-prosecutor Carey Dunne under Bragg’s predecessor, former Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance. Both Pomerantz and Dunne resigned after Bragg took the helm and raised doubts about pursuing a case against Trump. 

After Pomerantz resigned, he wrote a tell-all book based on the investigation, which was still ongoing. The book seemingly made the case to charge Trump. 

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Former Manhattan prosecutor Mark Pomerantz testified about the investigation into Trump (William B. Plowman/NBC via Getty Images)

The committee quoted Pomerantz’s book, which they said revealed “his animus, both personally and politically against Trump.” 

Pomerantz wrote in his book of his “enthusiasm to work on the investigation,” but said it “had nothing to do with [his] views about Trump’s politics.” However, he admitted that he was “not a fan” of Trump, and “had little regard” for him. 

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Chairman Jim Jordan told Fox News Digital on Thursday that Pomerantz “left retirement to pursue a passion project of prosecuting President Trump.” 

“He looked high and low for all the possible ways to take down the president. When nothing panned out, he left Alvin Bragg’s office in disgust and wrote a book for the purpose of bringing public pressure on Bragg to bring some charge–and it worked,” Jordan said. “The whole trial is entirely political and everyone knows it.” 

The committee said Bragg’s tenure as district attorney contributed to rising crime in New York City.

“Against the backdrop of District Attorney Bragg’s decision to find any reason to prosecute President Trump are Bragg’s actions to institute pro-crime, anti-victim policies that resulted in an increase in violent crime and created a dangerous community for New York City residents.” 

Bragg issued an early memo directing assistant DAs to avoid prosecuting certain crimes, including trespassing and prostitution.

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NYC Mayor Eric Adams and District Attorney Alvin Bragg ((AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews))

The memo stated that armed robberies should not be prosecuted as felonies. Instead, the new DA directed armed robberies to be considered as misdemeanor larceny unless someone was shot during the robbery. Bragg also stated that his office would not seek prison sentences except for homicides and other particularly “heinous crimes” like domestic violence felonies, sex crimes, and public corruption. 

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The committee said that Bragg’s indictment of Trump “opened a dangerous new possibility of politically motivated prosecutions or threatened prosecutions of political opponents, including presidents.” 

“This case establishes a dangerously low threshold for these investigations and prosecutions to commence,” the report states, adding that Bragg has “opened the door for future prosecutions of a former president–or current candidate–that would widely be perceived as politically motivated.” 

Committee Republicans said Bragg inspired other prosecutors to pursue “politically motivated investigations and indictments of President Trump.” 

FLASHBACK: TOP PROSECUTORS IN MANHATTAN DA CASE AGAINST TRUMP RESIGN

Former President Donald Trump attends the first day of his criminal trial

Former President Donald Trump attends the first day of his criminal trial, at Manhattan Criminal Court in New York City on April 15, 2024.  (Angela Weiss/AFP via AP Pool)

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“The fundamental mission of any prosecutor’s office is to uphold the rule of law,” the report states. “And one of the hallmarks of this mission is to ensure that justice is blind—applied fairly and equally. Bragg’s politically motivated indictment of President Trump threatens to destroy this notion of blind justice by using the criminal justice system to attack an individual he disagrees with politically, and, in turn, eroding the confidence of the American people.” 

Bragg’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.



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