The Heritage Foundation filed two lawsuits against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Monday to force his office to turn over records related to its investigation into former President Donald Trump.
The lawsuits come after Bragg failed to comply with two Freedom of Information Law, or FOIL, requests relating to his communications with the Justice Department, the White House, and any Democratic lawmakers regarding his prosecution of Trump.
Bragg and his office charged Trump with 34 counts of falsifying business records in April. Trump pleaded not guilty to the charges, which stem from hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential election.
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C., claimed in its first lawsuit that Bragg’s suspected communication with the DOJ led to several House GOP committee investigations.
“Regrettably, these questions have not been met with answers. These reports have raised concerns in many circles based in large part upon the longstanding history of President Trump’s political opponents coordinating their activities to systematically weaponize the criminal justice system against him and thereby pervert the course of Justice,” the first lawsuit obtained by the Washington Examiner stated.
A second lawsuit filed by Heritage alleged that the district attorney obtained pro-bono assistance from major law firms and is asking the court to force Bragg to provide documents related to those firms and bar his team from “seeking costs and fees for the request at issue in this case.”
“Bragg crossed the Rubicon by indicting President Trump on a document retention dispute. Well, now he has a document retention dispute with us. We look forward to him being forced to comply with the law. The weaponization must end and we will do all we can to see that it does,” Heritage Foundation Oversight Project Director Mike Howell said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.
Trump is attempting to move the case out of acting New York Supreme Court Justice Juan Merchan’s hands by transferring it to federal court or demanding Merchan’s recusal.
The former president’s lawyers filed another motion last Friday asking for the case to be moved to the federal level, arguing the alleged crimes “took place while the president was in office.”