Washington DC – New York prosecutors overseeing charges against former President Donald Trump have hit back at top Republican lawmakers, calling their accusations that the case was politically motivated “unfounded and inflammatory.” said.
In a letter to the heads of powerful House committees on Friday, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg denied lawmakers’ requests for documents from the state’s Trump investigation.
Bragg, an elected Democrat, reiterated that Congress had no right to interfere with local prosecutions.
“Like other defendants, Mr. Trump is entitled to challenge these charges in court and to take advantage of all the procedures and protections offered by New York State’s strong criminal proceedings,” said District Attorney General Leslie. A letter signed by Duvec said:
“What neither Trump nor Congress can do is interfere with the normal procedures of New York State.”
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg was seen leaving office after his historic decision to indict Donald Trump.
Bragg leads investigation into hush money paid to adult movie star, leading to grand jury indictment of former U.S. president 👇 pic.twitter.com/FHYqB3udzd
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) March 31, 2023
The letter voted for a grand jury to indict Trump in connection with hush money payments made by his former personal attorney to adult film actress Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 presidential election. It arrived within 24 hours from.. Exact charges remain unknown.
It’s the latest reaction in a back-and-forth exchange between Mr. Bragg’s office and the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary, Oversight and Executive Committees.
The senior Republican sent the first letter to Bragg’s office on March 20 in which he said he expected Trump, who is running for president again in 2024, to be arrested in a New York investigation.
At the time, they demanded that the district attorney testify about what they called a “politically motivated prosecution decision,” and also demanded internal documents related to the investigation.
Bragg responded by claiming their demands constituted an “illegal encroachment on the sovereignty of New York”.
A Republican lawmaker wrote to Bragg again last week, saying, “The potential criminal indictment of the former president of the United States by an elected district attorney of the opposing party (and facing possible re-election) is a substantial federal challenge. suggesting involvement,” he said. interest”.
On Friday, Bragg’s office called Republican lawmakers’ focus on Trump’s case an “inappropriate and dangerous infringement of executive and judicial functions.”
Trump’s indictment marks the first time a former president has been criminally prosecuted. The move sparked a storm of criticism from Republicans who accused Mr. Bragg of interfering in the 2024 election.
Many of Trump’s potential presidential primary rivals also came to his defense, blaming New York prosecutors.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is about to announce his presidential run, said in a social media post that “weaponizing the legal system to advance the political agenda overturns the rule of law.” . “It’s un-American.”
Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy also accused Bragg of weaponizing the “holy justice system” against the former president, while Republican Rep. Clay Higgins said in a tweet: He is Pion, Fat Zero. ”
Friday’s letter also offered Bragg an opportunity to defend undisclosed charges.
“The indictment filed yesterday was brought by a New Yorker fulfilling his civic duty as a grand juror, and the grand jury found sufficient grounds to accuse Trump of committing crimes in New York. I found it,” he said.
Grand juries that approve indictments are made up of randomly selected citizens.
Bragg’s office also said it warned last week that there could be “death and destruction” if the former president were indicted, a member of the Republican House of Representatives who did not condemn Trump’s attack on the justice system. He criticized the chairman of the meeting.
“Instead, you and many of your colleagues have chosen to cooperate with Mr. Trump’s efforts to defame and defame the integrity of elected state prosecutors and judges, and that the office’s investigations have been average. York has made unsubstantiated allegations that it was conducted through an independent grand jury of disinterested citizens and is politically motivated,” the letter said.
Trump is expected to be arraigned next week, at which time he will be processed by the criminal justice system and expected to appear in court and be formally charged.
U.S. law does not bar people with criminal charges from running for president, so Trump is likely to push for the 2024 election.