House Judiciary Committee escalates tension with NYC district attorney

Democrats say the hearing and the location are evidence of pro-Trump members of the House pressuring Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg
Posted at 8:21 PM, Apr 17, 2023

House Republicans on Monday aimed to squarely blame New York City District Attorney Alvin Bragg for what they call inaction on violent crime in the nation’s largest city. 

"In this country, justice is supposed to be blind regardless of race, religion or creed. However, here in Manhattan, the scales of justice are weighed down by politics," said Rep. Jim Jordan, of the House Judiciary Committee. 

The blame came during a highly political field hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee.   

"Let me just say I want to thank all the witnesses including the victims of crime. I fear that you are being used for political purposes despite your sincerity," said Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren.

Democrats say the hearing and the location are evidence of pro-Trump members of the House pressuring the Manhattan district attorney amid his prosecution of the former president and 2024 presidential candidate. 

"Please spare me this suggestion that this is about a sincere interest in finding solutions to crime. This is about your agenda to earn the admiration and support and good wishes of the former president of the United States," said Rep. David Cicilline. 

Former President Donald Trump.

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According to data from the New York City Police Department, crime has largely fallen over the past year in New York City, with cases of rape, murder, and robbery down year over year, though cases of felony assault are up. Cities across the country run by members of both parties have seen rises in crime during the pandemic. 

"Let’s talk about Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg: He's a woke, progressive, district attorney, no different than any other progressive DA in our country right now," said Rep. Wesley Hunt. 

The Manhattan district attorney is currently suing House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan to fight a GOP subpoena of former prosecutor Mark Pomerantz, who had overseen the district attorney's prosecution of former President Trump in New York. 

"I think the answer is I think he should resign and I think he should be disbarred," said Rep. Jeff Van Drew. 

On Twitter, Bragg and House Republicans have traded jabs with Republicans claiming Bragg has misused his office’s resources to go after Trump while violent crime goes unpunished in New York. 

Blocks away from the hearing, the case against President Trump and DA Bragg’s lawsuit against House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan both continue.