Manhattan DA's office slams House GOP's efforts to intervene in Trump investigation

ByAnnie Grayer and Sara Murray, CNNWire
Friday, March 31, 2023
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NEW YORK -- The Manhattan district attorney's office is again slamming House Republicans for their efforts to intervene in its investigation into former President Donald Trump, accusing them of collaborating with Trump to "vilify and denigrate the integrity of elected state prosecutors and trial judges."

The DA's general counsel Leslie B. Dubeck penned a letter Friday to three House GOP committee chairmen, citing Trump's harsh rhetoric aimed at District Attorney Alvin Bragg and writing, "As Committee Chairmen, 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."

Dubeck continues, "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 and made unfounded allegations that the Office's investigation, conducted via an independent grand jury of average citizens serving New York State, is politically motivated."

Dubeck wrote to House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan, House Oversight Chair James Comer and House Administration Chair Bryan Steil for a second time on Friday, in light of the investigation the committee chairmen launched into the Manhattan DA shortly after Trump warned he would soon be arrested.

A spokesperson for Comer declined to comment. Spokespeople for Steil and Jordan did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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In response to the House GOP's inquiries into how federal funds were used in the probe, Dubeck disclosed that approximately $5,000 was spent "on expenses incurred relating to the investigation of Donald J. Trump or the Trump Organization," and added that that money came from "federal forfeiture money that the Office helped collect." The letter says that no federal grant money was used toward expenses in the Trump investigation.

Dubeck specified that approximately $5,000 of federal forfeiture money was spent on expenses relating to Trump or the Trump organization between October 2019 and August 2021, and that most of that money had to do with Supreme Court litigation. In the last 15 years, Dubeck shared that the DA's Office helped the federal government secure more than one billion dollars in asset forfeiture funds.

Dubeck also included details about the three federal grant programs the office participates in regarding its casework and shared, "no expenses incurred relating to this matter have been paid from funds that the Office receives through federal grant programs."

Dubeck wrote that if the chairmen are not willing to call off their inquiry, the DA's office is still willing to meet.

"If you will not withdraw your request, we reiterate our willingness to meet and confer with you or your staff about how we can accommodate your request without violating our obligations as prosecutors to protect the integrity of an ongoing criminal prosecution."

Claiming the committees lack jurisdiction to oversee their state prosecution and discrediting any valid legislative purpose to their inquiry, Dubeck cites CNN reporting to claim that "it appears you are acting more like criminal defense counsel trying to gather evidence for a client than a legislative body seeking to achieve a legitimate legislative objective."

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