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House GOP subpoena of Manhattan DA would 'kneecap' prosecutor: analysis

Raw Story 3/23/2023 Gideon Rubin
Rep. Jim Jordan © Raw Story Rep. Jim Jordan

House Republicans earlier this week in a letter to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg requested that the prosecutor testify and provide documents in connection with the investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels.

Braggs, who could issue what would be the first indictment against a former president, is being urged by legal experts to take a hard pass on the letter sent to Bragg by GOP Reps. Jim Jordan, Bryan Steil and James Comer. All three are members of the weaponization of the federal government subcommittee panel.

In an opinion piece published on MSNBC’s website Wednesday, former White House ethics lawyer Norman Eisen, government integrity lawyer Fred Wertheimer and appellate lawyer Josh Stanton describe the request as a naked effort to interfere with a state prosecution.

“Congress cannot lawfully use its investigative power to engage in law enforcement,” the trio of legal heavyweights wrote.

Watch: Prankster sneaks uncensored view of Trump onto right-wing news network

“But we argue that is precisely what these congressmen are attempting by seeking to second-guess and superintend a single specific pending case by a prosecutor. Any move to issue a subpoena demanding Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg appear in Washington should be viewed as meddling that is both brazenly partisan and probably unlawful.”

The legal experts argue that an attempt by the congressmen to subpoena Bragg (should he decline their request) would be unenforceable.

“A subpoena violating that norm would disrupt the basic elements of our adversarial system of justice,” they said.

“As lawyers whose experience includes decades prosecuting or defending criminal cases, we can say that compliance with such a subpoena would kneecap the Manhattan district attorney.”

Furthermore, they argue such a subpoena would break an important “norm.”

“Although the defense is entitled to extensive discovery — as they should be — neither the defense nor the public is entitled to the detailed thoughts and impressions of the lawyers investigating and prosecuting a case,” Eisen, Wertheimer and Stanton argue.

“A subpoena violating that norm would disrupt the basic elements of our adversarial system of justice.”

IN OTHER NEWS: Trump reeling after Murdoch media makes 'coordinated effort' to ridicule him: Morning Joe panel

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