FILE PHOTO: Former U.S. President Donald Trump arrives at Trump Tower after giving a deposition to New York Attorney General Letitia James who sued him and his Trump Organization, in New York City, U.S., April 13, 2023. REUTERS/Bing Guan/File Photo
By Luc Cohen
NEW YORK (Reuters) -Republican U.S. congressman Jim Jordan on Monday asked a judge to let a House of Representatives panel’s investigation into the criminal prosecution of former President Donald Trump proceed, saying a subpoena of a former Manhattan prosecutor was needed by lawmakers as they consider possible legislation.
Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and an ally of fellow Republican Trump, made the request to U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil two days before she is due to hold a hearing in the case in federal court in Manhattan.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who brought 34 felony counts of falsifying business records against Trump, last week sued Jordan to stop what Bragg called a “campaign of intimidation” against the prosecution of the former president. The suit sought to block the committee’s subpoena seeking testimony from Mark Pomerantz, who once led the Manhattan district attorney’s office Trump investigation but resigned in early 2022.
In a separate filing, Pomerantz urged Vyskocil to block the subpoena and said he played no role in Bragg’s decision to charge Trump.
Trump, the first former U.S. president charged with a crime, pleaded not guilty on April 4 after being indicted in connection to a hush money payment made before the 2016 U.S. presidential election to porn star Stormy Daniels to prevent her from discussing a sexual encounter she has said she had with him.
Trump, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2024, has denied the liaison took place.
Bragg has accused Jordan of impeding New York’s “sovereign authority” and interfering in an ongoing criminal case.
In his response to Bragg’s lawsuit on Monday, Jordan said his subpoena of Pomerantz was covered by protection under the U.S. Constitution for “speech or debate” in Congress. Jordan said his committee was considering legislation to allow presidents to move state criminal actions against them to federal court.
“Such legislation could help protect current and former presidents from potentially politically motivated prosecutions,” Jordan’s lawyers wrote in court papers.