Latest News 01-05-2024 00:03 9 Views

NY v. Trump: House Judiciary investigates Bragg prosecutor who held senior role in Biden DOJ

The House Judiciary Committee is investigating a top prosecutor on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against former President Trump for his past work as a senior Justice Department official during the Biden administration. 

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is demanding that Attorney General Merrick Garland turn over records related to the employment of Bragg prosecutor Matthew Colangelo amid a 'perception' of coordination. 

Colangelo delivered opening arguments for Bragg in the Trump trial alleging 'a criminal conspiracy and a cover-up.' 

'The Committee on the Judiciary is conducting oversight of politically motivated prosecutions by state and local officials,' Jordan wrote in a letter to Garland, obtained by Fox News Digital. 'Since last year, popularly elected prosecutors—who campaigned for office on the promise of prosecuting President Trump—engaged in an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority: the indictment of a former President of the United States and current leading candidate for that office.' 

Jordan pointed to Bragg’s indictment of Trump, charging the former president with 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. Trump pleaded not guilty to all counts. His unprecedented and historic criminal trial is underway for its third week. 

A charge of falsifying business records typically is a misdemeanor, but Bragg must convince the jury that Trump allegedly falsified those records in the furtherance of 'another crime.' Prosecutors suggest that other crime is a violation of New York State Law — to prevent or promote election. On its face, as a stand-alone offense, that charge is also typically a misdemeanor. Coupling the alleged falsification of business records with alleged prevention or promotion of election becomes a felony crime, according to Bragg. 

'New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg is engaged in one such politicized prosecution, which is being led in part by Matthew B. Colangelo, a former senior Justice Department official,' Jordan wrote. 'Accordingly, given the perception that the Justice Department is assisting in Bragg’s politicized prosecution, we write to request information and documents related to Mr. Colangelo’s employment.' 

Jordan claims that Colangelo’s employment history 'demonstrates his obsession with investigating a person rather than prosecuting a crime.' 

Jordan pointed to Colangelo’s work at the New York Attorney General’s Office, where he ran investigations into Trump and led a 'wave of state litigation against Trump administration policies.' 

Jordan said on the first day of the Biden Administration, Jan. 20, 2021, Colangelo began serving as an acting associate attorney general. Colangelo then became the Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General. 

Colangelo joined Bragg’s office in December 2022, after the resignations of Mark Pomerantz and Carey Dunne — prosecutors who were investigating Trump and resigned in protest of Bragg’s initial unwillingness to indict the former president. 

'Bragg hired Mr. Colangelo to ‘jump-start’ his office’s investigation of President Trump, reportedly due to Mr. Colangelo’s ‘history of taking on Donald J. Trump and his family business,' Jordan wrote. 'Mr. Colangelo is now a lead prosecutor in President Trump’s trial.' 

Jordan reminded Garland that Bragg’s prosecution of Trump 'concerns federal subject matter identical to a matter that the Justice Department closed in 2018, raising concerns that a state-level prosecutor is seeking to relitigate an issue on which the federal government previously declined prosecution.' 

Bragg’s prosecution relies 'heavily' on testimony of ex-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations, making false statements to Congress and tax evasion. He was sentenced to three years in prison. 

'In the years since, Cohen has been vocal about his deeply personal animus toward President Trump,' Jordan wrote. 

Jordan went on to demand documents and information about Colangelo’s work at the Justice Department related to Trump and Cohen. 

'As the Committee has previously explained, Bragg’s politicized prosecution of President Trump has serious consequences for federal interests,' Jordan wrote. 'That a former senior Biden Justice Department official is now leading the prosecution of President Biden’s chief political rival only adds to the perception that the Biden Justice Department is politicized and weaponized.' 

Jordan requested documents from January 2021 through December 2022 between or among Colangelo and any employee of Bragg’s office, New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office, Fulton County, Ga. District Attorney Fani Willis’ office or the Justice Department’s special counsel office referring or relating to Trump, the Trump Organization, or any other entity owned by or associated with Trump. 

Trump has argued that the cases against him in all jurisdictions — Bragg's; Special Counsel Jack Smith's election interference charges; Smith's classified records charges; and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis' charges — have been brought against him for the purposes of election interference and in coordination with President Biden. 

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges. 

Trump also was hit with a now-slashed $454 million judgment out of a non-jury civil fraud trial stemming from New York Attorney General Letitia James’ lawsuit. He is appealing that ruling. 

Meanwhile, Jordan is requesting all personnel files related to Colangelo; all communications between the DOJ and Bragg’s office relating to the prosecution of Trump; all records relating to the conviction of Cohen at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York. Jordan requested Garland produce the records by May 14. 

The investigation into Colangelo comes just days after the Jordan and Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee released their 300-page report saying Bragg  'allowed political motivations and animus to infect its prosecutorial discretion.' 


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