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JD Vance Spars with Welker Over Top DOJ Official’s Joining Bragg’s Team Before Trump Trial

Republican Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance sparred Sunday with NBC host Kristen Welker over her appearing to legitimize former top Department of Justice (DOJ) official Matthew Colangelo’s joining the team of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Vance appeared on “Meet the Press” to discuss the implications of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on former President Donald Trump’s presidential immunity before Welker pivoted to a statement by the former president on political opponents. Following a June 13, 2023 clip in which Trump could be heard announcing at a rally he would appoint a special prosecutor to look into President Joe Biden and his family, Welker asked Vance if he supported the move.

The Ohio senator started his response calling out how Democrats have “lost their mind” over the clip. He then referenced the House Oversight Committee’s investigation into Biden and his family and the connection between the Biden administration and Trump’s indictments. Welker, however, pushed back, stating that Biden did not directly appoint a special prosecutor, before asking the senator again if he would support the move by Trump.

“I would absolutely support investigating prior wrongdoing by our government. Absolutely, that’s what you have to have in a system of law and order, Kristen, but I have to reject the premise here. Joe Biden appointed the attorney general, Merrick Garland, who, of course, answers to Joe Biden, can be fired by Joe Biden,” Vance said.

“So the idea that the Biden administration has nothing to do with the appointment of the special prosecutor, I think, completely betrays an understanding— a misunderstanding of how our system of government actually works. Of course, Kristen, we have to make this point, Kristen, that the prosecution of Donald Trump in New York — which I think now [has] fundamentally been thrown in doubt by this immunity case — it was one of the main guys— was a Department of Justice official in the Biden administration who jumped ship to join a local prosecutor’s office to go after Donald Trump.”

“And yet the DOJ told Congress— ” Welker attempted to jump in.

“If that doesn’t make you question the legitimacy of the prosecution, that’s a problem,” Vance finished.

“Well, Senator, that happens all the time: people are appointed from Washington. But the DOJ told Congress, testified this week— ” Welker said.

“Kristen, it happens. Are you really saying, Kristen, it ‘happens all the time’? That the number— ” Vance said, appearing shocked.

“Let me just finish this. The DOJ told Congress this week it reviewed all communications since Biden took office and found no contact between federal prosecutors and those involved with that case in New York. Can you stick to the substance of the question, though?” Welker questioned. “Let me just ask because you are — I just want to stick with this line of theory that you are laying out, which is you are saying it’s not okay for Joe Biden to weaponize the Justice Department. If it’s not okay for Joe Biden to weaponize the Justice Department, as you say — which there’s no evidence of that — why is it okay for Donald Trump to do that?”

“Well, Kristen, first of all, you said that it ‘happens all the time’ that the number three person in the Department of Justice jumps ship to join a local prosecutor’s office to go after the president’s political opponent? I don’t think that’s ever happened in the history of American democracy and I don’t think that we should legitimize it,” Vance responded.

“Now if Donald Trump’s attorney general had his number two or number three jump ship to a local prosecutor’s office in Ohio or Wisconsin and that person then went after Donald Trump’s political opposition, that’s a different conversation. All he’s suggesting is that we should investigate credible arguments of wrongdoing. That’s all that Donald Trump is saying. That is not a threat to democracy. That’s merely reinforcing our system of law and government.”

Since Trump’s June 2024 statement, the former president spoke with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, in part to discuss reports on his “retribution” plan. Trump called for the comments to “stop” in June, stating that while he would have “every right” to look into his political opponents, it would be “wrong.”

In addition to spending two years with Biden’s DOJ, Colangelo worked for the president as an acting associate attorney general. He then left to join Bragg’s team in December 2022 as lead prosecutor prior to the Trump trial in Manhattan. After Colangelo joined the team, he led the probe into the Trump Foundation, resulting in its dissolution before moving on to Trump’s falsified records case.

Federal Election Commission records from 2018 show the former top DOJ official received thousands of dollars from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for “political consulting.”

READ 13 COMMENTS
  • patriotic citizen says:

    It’s very clear in this interview this reporter is objecting to a Republican that is voting in as President must leave all Democrats alone and not do as they do when they are in power! All Democrats never commit a crime when they are in office, just those nasty Republicans.

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