Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s lawyer tells GOP leaders probing his Trump hush money investigation to back off

Tribune Content Agency

NEW YORK — Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has a message for Republican lawmakers looking into his office’s investigation of former President Donald Trump’s role into the hush money payment made to Stormy Daniels: Back off.

If criminal charges are brought against Donald Trump in Manhattan, “it will be because the rule of law and faithful execution” of Bragg’s duty requires it, reads a letter sent Thursday by the DA’s lawyer to GOP leaders.

Bragg’s general counsel Leslie Dubeck was responding to demands from House Republican committee chairs accusing him of investigating Trump as part of a political conspiracy. The committee led by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, demanded Bragg voluntarily testify before Congress about the probe.

Bragg’s general counsel described the letter as “an unprecedented inquiry into a pending local prosecution,” and noted it came after Trump spread unfounded claims he would be arrested Tuesday.

“The Letter only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day, and his lawyers reportedly urged you to intervene. Neither fact is a legitimate basis for a congressional inquiry.”

Bragg is believed to be on the cusp of nearing a charging decision in his office’s long-running probe into Trump and his business dealings. A grand jury impaneled in January has been hearing evidence about his hush money deal with porn star Stormy Daniels since January.

The panel heard from Michael Cohen twice last week. Trump declined an invitation to testify, with his lawyers sending attorney Robert Costello instead, who sought to discredit Cohen as a liar.

The potential criminal charges against Trump would mark the first ever brought against a former U.S. president.

If Trump is indicted, Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Juan Merchan will preside over the case, a source with direct knowledge told the Daily News. Merchan presided over the Trump Organization’s trial and its longtime finance chief Allen Weisselberg’s case.