House

Alvin Bragg sues Jim Jordan: Four takeaways 

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (D) ramped up his fierce battle with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Tuesday, filing a legal suit against the key Trump ally. 

Bragg is the most recent nemesis of former President Trump, who was indicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records last week in the investigation Bragg spearheaded.  

Trump and his allies, including Jordan, insist the charges are politically motivated and intended to hobble his chances in the 2024 election.  

In legal terms, Bragg is asking a judge to quash a subpoena Jordan’s committee has already issued to Mark Pomerantz, a prosecutor who resigned from Bragg’s office last year. 

Bragg is also seeking to preemptively invalidate any other subpoenas the House Judiciary Committee would issue to him or “any of his current or former employees or officials.” 

The political battle is just coming to the boil. Here are four key takeaways. 

Bragg ups the stakes 

Bragg and Jordan had previously gone back and forth by letter over a request from the House Judiciary Committee for testimony and information from Bragg and his office. 

The filing of a legal suit by the district attorney is a significant escalation. 

Bragg alleges that Jordan and his colleagues are engaged in a “brazen and unconstitutional attack…on an ongoing New York State criminal prosecution.” He further contends that they are “participating in a campaign of intimidation, retaliation and obstruction.” 

Bragg is seeking the invalidation of present and future subpoenas for two reasons: first, he contends Congress has no legitimate authority to make such demands regarding a criminal case at the state level; second, he contends that bowing to the House committee’s demands would enable Jordan to “seek secret grand jury material.”  

Jordan is firing back, of course.  

“First, they indict a president for no crime,” he tweeted in response to Bragg’s suit. “Then, they sue to block congressional oversight when we ask questions about the federal funds they say they used to do it.” 

His allies have joined the fight, too. Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas), who sits on the Judiciary Committee, tweeted on Tuesday, “Why does Alvin Bragg think he is above the law?” 

Jordan will hit back on Monday 

Jordan can return fire on Monday — albeit not in direct response to Bragg’s suit. 

The Judiciary Committee is holding a field hearing in New York City. The purpose is to look at crime rates — and to pin at least some of the blame on Bragg. 

The New York Post quoted an unnamed source as saying that the hearing would examine the city’s “rampant crime and victims of Alvin Bragg.” 

A Daily Mail report, retweeted by the account of the committee’s Republican majority, said that the witnesses would include “a bodega clerk, the mother of a homicide victim and an anti-crime activist.” 

Bragg’s legal filing segued into a defense of his record on crime — noting, for instance, that homicides in New York City had declined 14 percent year-on-year. 

But Jordan and his GOP colleagues clearly see a chance to hit Bragg with a combination punch — tagging the Democrat as soft-on-crime while also suggesting his pursuit of Trump is misplaced when there are more serious crimes to fight. 

Bragg could win the battle but lose the war 

Bragg plainly believes he had to defend himself against Jordan’s demands. 

If he were to prevail in court, that would seem likely to defang the committee — especially if it was a quick victory. 

That’s far from guaranteed, however. And a long and fierce legal battle could, by its nature, deepen the perception of the investigation as deeply politicized.  

That impression could endure even if Bragg wins on the legal points. 

That’s a particular problem for Bragg given that even many Americans who support the indictment of Trump already see the probe as political. 

In an ABC News/Ipsos poll released earlier this month, Americans by a 45 percent to 32 percent plurality believed Trump should have been charged with a crime. But a 47 percent to 32 percent plurality also saw those charges as politically motivated. 

A CNN/SSRS poll in the same period showed a similar pattern, with 62 percent approving of the indictment but 52 percent saying politics played a major role in it. 

The mixed messages embedded in those results mean Bragg needs to be careful. 

Jordan has his own history of defying subpoenas 

The House Judiciary Chairman has been forceful in asserting his committee’s authority.  

In an April 6 cover letter accompanying the Pomerantz subpoena, Jordan noted that the Supreme Court had in the past recognized Congress’s “‘broad and indispensable power’ to conduct oversight.  

He further asserted that Pomerantz is “uniquely situated to provide information that is relevant and necessary.” 

But there’s one problem with such assertions. 

Jordan was himself subpoenaed during the last Congress by the Jan. 6 committee.  

He refused to comply.

Tags Alvin Bragg Alvin Bragg Donald Trump Donald Trump indictment Jim Jordan Jim Jordan Mark Pomerantz New York City

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