In Judiciary Committee Hearing on Trump’s NYC Trial, House Republicans Assail Politicized Indictment

In Judiciary Committee Hearing on Trump’s NYC Trial, House Republicans Assail Politicized Indictment

The Manhattan district attorney who prosecuted former President Donald Trump ran a politically motivated investigation while allowing common criminals off the hook.

That was one of the conclusions of Republican lawmakers and witnesses at a House Judiciary Committee hearing Thursday on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s prosecution of Trump.

Bragg has agreed to appear before the committee in July.

In his opening statement, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the committee’s chairman, said that Bragg ran for district attorney while “bragging” about suing Trump and vowing to prosecute the former president.

When Bragg took office in 2022, the first thing he did, Jordan said, was release a “Day One memo,” committing to “progressive, soft on crime, anti-victim policies.” That included reducing some violent crimes, such as armed robbery, to misdemeanors.

Despite his commitment to prosecuting Trump, Bragg told one of his prosecutors that the case was too weak, in large part because the lead witness, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, couldn’t be trusted, Jordan said.

Cohen had pleaded guilty to lying to Congress and was disbarred.

Jordan said that Bragg received pressure from the Left to prosecute Trump, especially after the former president announced he would be running for president again in 2024.

Shortly after the Trump presidential announcement, Bragg hired Matthew Colangelo, a senior official in President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice.

The Ohio congressman said that the pattern of Bragg’s actions demonstrates that the judicial system has been contorted to go after Trump.

“Alvin Bragg’s prosecution of President Trump was personal, was based on politics, and was wrong,” Jordan said.

One of the witnesses at the hearing, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, also said that the prosecution was “politically motivated” and “replete with legal error.”

Bailey, a Republican, said that in the Trump case, the prosecutor “perverted the law to meet the facts, rather than objectively apply the facts to the law.”

He noted that the prosecution failed to correct the court’s instructions to jurors in the case.

“The prosecutor failed to correct the court’s error in instructing the jury that unanimity was not required as to the predicate offense that forms the basis for the fallacious charges,” Bailey said.

The Missouri attorney general said that trial by jury requires a unanimous decision of guilt for every offense, but the court didn’t instruct jurors to act in this way, which is why Trump was found guilty on all 34 charges.

Federal Election Commission member James E. “Trey” Trainor III, who was appointed by Trump, said that the legal theory the New York court convicted Trump on was absurd.

Trump was convicted of violations of campaign-finance law.

“District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s decision to pursue charges against former President Trump for alleged violations of campaign-finance laws marks a significant deviation from this established legal framework,” Trainor said. “Doing so, Bragg has effectively usurped the jurisdiction that this Congress has explicitly reserved for federal authorities.”

Trainor said that the Trump case “sets a disturbing precedent for the politicization of legal proceedings at the state level.”

He said that the case opens a can of worms, wherein states can now use creative interpretations of campaign-finance laws against former presidents, presidential candidates, and other people running for federal office.

Trainor also condemned the Department of Justice for not intervening in this case, despite it being under federal jurisdiction. He said the campaign-finance laws are designed to allow the DOJ to ensure that the laws are not used to manipulate the political process, especially in an election year.

Democrats at the hearing supported the Bragg decision and said that Republicans were undermining the courts by questioning the Trump verdict.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., focused on Trump being a “convicted felon” in his remarks during the hearing.

“Just a show of hands for anyone in the room who hung out with a felon today?” Swalwell asked, rhetorically. “Hey, guys, you might want to get your hands up. You were hanging out with convicted felon Donald Trump. I don’t think anyone on our side did. That’s why we’re here.”

Swalwell said that Trump’s legal team had the chance to help choose the jury in New York. The California congressman also asserted that Fox News celebrated the recent conviction in the case of President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, on charges related to the illegal purchase of a firearm.

Swalwell also questioned Republican support for the Supreme Court, which might ultimately decide the Trump cases.

“One judge is flying an insurrection flag in solidarity with the insurrection on Jan. 6, [2021] that tried to overturn Donald Trump’s loss in the 2020 election,” the California Democrat said, referring to the story about how an “Appeal to Heaven” flag—originally created by an aide to George Washington in the American Revolution—was seen flying at Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s home in 2021.

Swalwell said that Republicans on the committee chose to help a felon over families by focusing on the Trump trial.

Original source

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.