U.S. Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) arrives for the Republican caucus meeting, in Washington, U.S., May 14, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
By Luc Cohen
NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Representative Jim Jordan, one of Donald Trump’s staunchest allies in Congress, on Friday urged an appeals court to let his House Judiciary Committee depose a former prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s criminal probe of the former U.S. president.
The district attorney, Democrat Alvin Bragg, had earlier this week appealed a lower court’s ruling that the Republican-led House of Representatives committee may depose Mark Pomerantz, who led the Trump probe before resigning in February 2022.
Pomerantz’s testimony had been scheduled for Thursday, but the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals put it on hold. A three-judge panel is expected to hear oral arguments on Tuesday about whether to extend the stay until Bragg’s full appeal is heard.
In papers filed on Friday, Jordan said the subpoena was covered by a constitutional protection for “speech or debate” in Congress. He said Pomerantz’s testimony was necessary for the committee to consider possible legislation to “help protect current and former Presidents from potentially politically motivated prosecutions.”
Bragg is expected to reply by Saturday afternoon.
He has argued that Jordan’s subpoena was part of a campaign of intimidation in response to his indictment of Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.
On April 4, Trump pleaded not guilty to 34 felony charges tied to a hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election, to prevent her from discussing a sexual encounter she says they had.
Trump denies that the encounter occurred. Daniels’ real name is Stephanie Clifford.
Bragg has said Pomerantz’s testimony could improperly reveal confidential information related to his office’s probe, and that Congress did not have oversight of state-level criminal cases.