Bragg’s office criticizes top Republicans for aiding ‘Trump’s efforts to vilify’ him.
"The letter described as unfounded the three members’ allegations that the investigation was politically motivated.
A day after filing charges against Donald J. Trump, the Manhattan district attorney’s office wrote a letter criticizing three influential congressional Republicans for their efforts to interfere in the investigation into the former president.
The letter was addressed to three committee chairmen who had demanded that the district attorney, Alvin L. Bragg, provide them with communications, documents and testimony related to the inquiry into Mr. Trump.
The office’s letter noted that before being indicted, Mr. Trump had used his social media platform to denigrate Mr. Bragg, and had threatened “death and destruction” if he were to be charged.
“You could use the stature of your office to denounce these attacks and urge respect for the fairness of our justice system and for the work of the impartial grand jury,” Leslie Dubeck, the general counsel for the district attorney’s office, wrote.
“Instead, you and many of your colleagues have chosen to collaborate with Mr. Trump’s efforts to vilify and denigrate the integrity of elected state prosecutors and trial judges,” Ms. Dubeck wrote, describing as unfounded the three members’ allegations that the investigation was politically motivated.
The letter, addressed to Representatives Jim Jordan of Ohio, chairman of the Judiciary Committee; James R. Comer of Kentucky, chairman of the Oversight and Accountability Committee; and Bryan Steil of Wisconsin, chairman of the Administration Committee, repeated portions of an earlier one Ms. Dubeck had sent them, calling the Republican request for confidential information about the investigation unprecedented.
“Like any other defendant, Mr. Trump is entitled to challenge these charges in court,” she wrote, adding, “What neither Mr. Trump nor Congress may do is interfere with the ordinary course of proceedings in New York State.”
Ms. Dubeck and the Republicans have traded two letters apiece since Mr. Trump’s arrest prediction on March 18, which prompted his political allies to rush to his side.
Responding to news of the indictment on Thursday evening, Mr. Jordan tweeted one word: “Outrageous.”
The back-and-forth highlights the politically charged nature of Mr. Trump’s indictment, which has thrown the 2024 presidential race into new territory and threatens to test national and state institutions and the rule of law.
The Republican effort to influence Mr. Bragg’s investigation mimics Mr. Trump’s own efforts, while he occupied the White House, to tar law enforcement officials as partisan actors motivated solely by politics.
Mr. Trump continued that line of attack on Thursday. In a statement, he called Mr. Bragg a “disgrace” and said “this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden,” who defeated him in the 2020 presidential race, has had nothing to do with the district attorney’s investigation and has not commented on the indictment.
Concluding her letter, Ms. Dubeck urged the congressional Republicans to withdraw their demand for information about the investigation “and let the criminal justice process proceed without unlawful political interference.”
But she said that the office was willing to meet with the chairmen or their staffs, and asked for a list of questions for Mr. Bragg and a description of the types of documents they were requesting."