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House GOP scrambles to defend Trump against possible indictment

Former President Donald Trump’s potential indictment by a New York prosecutor would be an unprecedented miscarriage of justice, some prominent Republicans in the House of Representatives argued on Monday.

In a letter to New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg — who Trump says will arrest him this week — leading House Republicans blasted Bragg and demanded details about the investigation.

“You are about to engage in an unprecedented abuse of prosecuting power: the indictment of a former president of the United States and current declared candidate for office,” said Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio ), James Comer (R-Ky.) and Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) said in the letter.

The three men respectively chair the House Judiciary Committee, the House Oversight Committee and the House Administration Committee, all of which have conducted investigations into Trump’s political enemies.

Trump said in a post on his social media site over the weekend that he expected to be arrested on Tuesday as part of Bragg’s investigation into whether he broke the law with a silent payment. in 2016 to Stormy Daniels, a former porn star who said she had sex with Trump in 2006.

Trump is also being investigated by state and federal prosecutors for his efforts to nullify the 2020 presidential election and his refusal to hand over public documents at the end of his term.

“This indictment comes after years of your office searching for a basis – any basis – on which to bring charges, ultimately settling on a new legal theory untested across the country on which Federal authorities have refused to prosecute,” Jordan, Comer and Steil wrote in their letter to Bragg.

“If these reports are accurate, your actions will erode confidence in the impartial administration of justice and will interfere unalterably in the 2024 presidential election,” the Republicans wrote.

Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen told Congress in 2019 that he arranged a $130,000 payment to Daniels on Trump’s behalf just weeks before the election. Trump then repaid Cohen a series of payments in the first year of his presidency.

“He asked me to pay an adult movie star he was having an affair with and lie to his wife about it, which I did,” Cohen said. “I’m going to jail in part because of my decision to help Mr. Trump hide this payment from the American people before he votes a few days later.”

Cohen pleaded guilty to various federal charges in 2018, including campaign finance violations related to payments to Daniels and another woman. Prosecutors said Cohen’s payments amounted to in-kind contributions to Trump’s campaign that far exceeded legal limits.

In their Monday letter, the three Republicans said Cohen lacked credibility as a witness in the Bragg case, calling him a “convicted perjurer with demonstrable bias against President Trump.” They asked Bragg to turn over any correspondence with federal prosecutors who declined to indict Trump in the case, as well as any documents reflecting the use of federal funds by the New York County prosecutor’s office.

In response to Trump’s claim that he is at risk of arrest, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) promised that House committees would “immediately investigate whether federal funds are used to overthrow our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions”.

Since January, the Judiciary Committee under Jordan has been investigating the alleged “militarization of government” against Trump supporters, including those who rioted on the US Capitol. The Oversight Committee under Comer attempted to tie President Joe Biden’s son Hunter to the Chinese Communist Party, and the Administration Committee under Steil sought to rewrite history of what happened on January 6, 2021. .

The reaction to Trump’s claim that he will be arrested this week recalls Republicans’ furious response to the FBI’s raid on Trump’s Florida residence last summer: Their default position is that prosecutors are going too far and that Trump did nothing wrong.

Ted Lieu, member of the House Judiciary Committee (D-Calif.) said in a tweet Monday that Bragg owes Jordan no information and that it is illegal for the committee “to interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation.”

The Huffington Gt

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