Former President Donald Trump embraces Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio at a rally in November 2022.AP Photo/Michael Conroy
Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has filed a lawsuit against Congressman Jim Jordan, telling the Ohio Republican to back off the DA’s case against Donald Trump.
Even before a New York grand jury officially indicted Trump, Jordan and other top House Republicans were threatening Bragg with an investigation of their own, apparently aimed at helping defend the former president.
Bragg’s lawsuit, filed Tuesday in federal court, asks a judge to block a subpoena that Jordan issued to attorney Mark Pomerantz, who left Bragg’s office last year. Bragg also wants the judge to prohibit Jordan from continuing to “harass” the Manhattan prosecutor’s office.
Back on March 20—well before Bragg’s grand jury indicted Trump on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records—Jordan, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, and two other Republicans sent Bragg a letter accusing him of leading a politically motivated investigation into Trump. The Republicans demanded that Bragg provide Congress with details of his probe. Jordan argued that Bragg’s interest in prosecuting Trump—”while adopting progressive criminal justice policies that allow career ‘criminals [to] run[ ] the streets’ of Manhattan—requires congressional scrutiny about how public safety funds appropriated by Congress are implemented by local law-enforcement agencies.”
Last week, Jordan also subpoenaed Pomerantz, a longtime white collar crime prosecutor who Bragg’s predecessor, Cy Vance Jr., had brought into the DA’s office to help investigate any potential Trump-related crimes. Pomerantz quit after Bragg took over, citing frustrations with Bragg’s initial unwillingness to pursue criminal charges against Trump. Pomerantz later wrote a book about his decision and his belief that Trump has committed numerous crimes.
Jordan has also taken to both television and Twitter to attack Bragg.
Alvin Bragg allowed Charles Lindsay, a notorious gang member, to walk free from four felony charges if Lindsay attended five “counseling sessions.”
But if you’re a Republican running for president, you’re held to a different standard of “justice.”
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) April 1, 2023
In a Fox News interview, Jordan even threatened to subpoena Bragg himself and warned that if Bragg resisted, “everything is on the table.”
Bragg and Jordan have continued to trade jabs—Jordan has said he wants to hold a Judiciary Committee hearing in Manhattan to highlight what he believes are high crime rates, while a Bragg aide countered that cities in Jordan’s home state had higher crime rates.
Bragg’s lawsuit is an escalation in the back-and-forth, however, with the request that a federal judge force Jordan to drop his subpoena of Pomerantz. In the complaint, Bragg points out that he’s a local prosecutor and that Congress has no power to interfere with local criminal investigations. What Jordan and his GOP colleagues are really doing, Bragg says in the suit, is trying to create “a retaliatory political circus designed to undermine the rule of law and New York’s police power.”