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Judge Denies Bragg’s Attempt to Stop Subpoena, Dealing Win to Jordan

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) will get to question a former prosecutor of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office after a judge ruled Wednesday that a subpoena Jordan issued to the prosecutor was enforceable.

U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil wrote that the subpoena, which Jordan sent to Mark Pomerantz two weeks ago, had a “valid legislative purpose.”

“It is not the role of the federal judiciary to dictate what legislation Congress may consider or how it should conduct its deliberations in that connection,” Vyskocil wrote. “Mr. Pomerantz must appear for the congressional deposition. No one is above the law.”

A spokesman for Jordan celebrated the victory in a statement, saying Vyskocil’s decision “shows that Congress has the ability to conduct oversight and issue subpoenas to people like Mark Pomerantz.”

Pomerantz’s deposition before the House Judiciary Committee, of which Jordan is chairman, is scheduled for Thursday at 10:00 a.m., but Bragg’s counsel has filed an appeal and is seeking emergency relief from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a last-minute attempt to prevent Pomerantz’s testimony.

Jordan, who appears poised to move forward with the deposition, has been aiming to question Pomerantz over his highly public resignation from Bragg’s office in February 2022.

Pomerantz’s resignation letter, published in the New York Times, indicated Pomerantz thought Trump was “guilty of numerous felony violations” and that Bragg’s decision at the time to suspend a probe against Trump was “misguided.”

Pomerantz also went on to publish a book called People vs. Donald Trump: An Inside Account, in which he vividly criticized Trump and discussed internal concerns people in the district attorney’s office had about the Trump investigation.

“You are uniquely situated to provide information that is relevant and necessary to inform the Committee’s oversight and potential legislative reforms,” Jordan wrote to Pomerantz in a cover letter accompanying his subpoena.

Jordan’s interest in Pomerantz is part of House Republicans’ broader probe into Bragg’s historic criminal case against Trump, which the GOP has widely condemned as a politically motivated and unjust application of the law.

Bragg sued Jordan last week over the investigation in a 50-page complaint, asking the court to quash the subpoena and “put an end to this constitutionally destructive fishing expedition.”

Vyskocil, who was appointed by Trump and confirmed in the Senate 91–3, observed that the subpoena was not in fact an “overbroad fishing expedition” and that “the first 35 pages of the Complaint have little to do with the subpoena at issue and are nothing short of a public relations tirade against former President and current presidential candidate Donald Trump.”

Of the subpoena, Vyskocil acknowledged Bragg’s claim “that permitting Pomerantz to appear will undermine the pending criminal case against President Trump, intrude on the grand jury proceedings, and violate grand jury secrecy laws, among other things.”

Vyskocil wrote that “these assertions are all without merit” though and that the “pending prosecution will move forward in the ordinary course regardless of whether the Committee deposes Pomerantz.”

Pomerantz’s book also worked against him in the case.

The former prosecutor, in his own filing, argued to the court that there was no further substance he could provide on the Trump case than what was already laid out in the book and that congressional inquiry would put him in a “legally untenable position.”

Vyskocil wrote, however, that neither Pomerantz nor Bragg were “entitled to unilaterally narrow the universe of acceptable inquiry to the information and mental impressions that Pomerantz decided to sell in the pages of his book.”

She later added, “Pomerantz is in this situation because he decided to inject himself into the public debate by authoring a book that he has described as ‘appropriate and in the public interest.’”

The case is Bragg v. Jordan, No. 23-cv-3032 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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