NEW YORK (AP) — Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg agreed Friday to stop republicans in the House Judiciary Committee questions a former prosecutor about the criminal case against the former president donald trump.
Under the agreement, committee members will be able to question Mark Pomerantz under oath next month in Washington. The settlement resolves a lawsuit in which District Attorney Alvin Bragg had tried to block Pomerantz from testifying, ending a legal dispute that escalated to a federal appeals court just weeks later. Trump’s Historic Impeachment.
Among the committee’s concessions, Pomerantz will be accompanied by a lawyer from Bragg’s office, which is not normally allowed in congressional depositions.
Bragg’s office and the Judiciary Committee reached the agreement after the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. issued a suspension Thursday that temporarily halted the execution of a House subpoena that had called for Pomerantz to testify.
The appeals court was scheduled to hear oral arguments in the dispute on Tuesday.
Bragg’s office said the agreement, which delays Pomerantz’s testimony until May 12, preserves the district attorney’s “privileges and interests” in his prosecution against Trump.
“Our successful stay of this subpoena blocked immediate deposition and allowed us the time necessary to coordinate with the House Judiciary Committee on an agreement that protects the privileges and interests of the district attorney,” Bragg’s office said in a statement.
“We are satisfied with this resolution, which guarantees that any questioning of our former employee will be carried out in the presence of our legal counsel within a reasonable and agreed period of time. We are pleased that the Second Circuit’s ruling has provided us with the opportunity to successfully resolve this dispute,” Bragg’s office said.
Bragg had appealed to the Second Circuit after a trial judge ruled Wednesday that there was no legal basis to block the Judiciary Committee’s subpoena and that Pomerantz’s plea should proceed as scheduled.
Under the agreement, Bragg withdrew his appeal.
Russell Dye, spokesperson for the committee chair, Rep. jim jordan, a Republican from Ohio, said in a statement: “Mr. Pomerantz’s statement will go ahead on May 12 and we look forward to his appearance.
Pomerantz once oversaw the year-long Trump investigation, but left the job after clashing with Bragg over the direction of the case. He recently wrote a book about his work in the search for Trump and discussed the investigation in interviews on “60 Minutes” and other shows.
Bragg, a Democrat, sued Jordan and the Judiciary Committee last week to block the subpoena. His attorney, Theodore Boutrous, argued that seeking Pomerantz’s testimony was part of a “transparent campaign to intimidate and attack” Bragg and that Congress was “invading a state” to investigate a local prosecutor when it had no authority to do so. do it.
Bourous said House Republicans’ interest in Bragg was tantamount to Congress “stepping in and haranguing the district attorney while the prosecution is ongoing.”
The Judiciary Committee began examining Bragg’s investigation of the former president in the weeks leading up to his indictment. Jordan sent letters requesting interviews with Bragg and documents before subpoenaing Pomerantz. US District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil, a Trump appointee, said in her ruling Wednesday that she would handle any legal fights that might arise from other subpoenas in the committee’s investigation of Bragg.
A lawyer for the committee, Matthew Berry, said at that hearing that Congress has legitimate legislative reasons for wanting to question Pomerantz and examine Bragg’s prosecution of Trump, citing the office’s use of $5,000 in federal funds to pay for Trump-related investigations.
Congress is also considering legislation, offered by Republicans in the wake of Trump’s impeachment, to change the way criminal cases against former presidents are conducted, Berry said. One bill would bar prosecutors from using federal funds to investigate presidents, and another would require that any criminal case involving a former president be heard in federal court rather than at the state level.
House Republicans, Berry said, want to protect the sovereignty and autonomy of the presidency, envisioning a scenario in which the commander-in-chief might feel compelled to make certain decisions to prevent local prosecutors in politically unfavorable jurisdictions from accusing them of crimes after leaving office.
For those reasons, Berry argued, Congress is immune from judicial intervention, citing the speech and debate clause of the US Constitution.
Pomerantz could decline to answer certain questions, citing legal privileges and ethical obligations, and Jordan would decide on those claims on a case-by-case basis, Berry said, but he should not be exempt from coming forward. If Jordan struck down Pomerantz and still refused to respond, he could face criminal referral to the Justice Department for contempt of Congress, but that wouldn’t happen immediately, Berry said.
Trump was charged last month with 34 felony falsifying business records related to hush money payments made during the 2016 campaign to bury allegations of extramarital sexual encounters. He has denied any wrongdoing and has pleaded not guilty.