Manhattan DA Sues House Judiciary Committee
- Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sued the House Judiciary Committee and its chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan, to block the panel from subpoenaing an attorney who worked on Bragg’s investigation of former President Donald Trump.
- The attorney, Mark Pomerantz, quit Bragg’s office last year after the DA initially decided not to prosecute Trump and later wrote a book calling for the prosecution of the 45th president.
- In its subpoena, the Judiciary Committee said Pomerantz’s “public statements about the investigation strongly suggest that Bragg’s prosecution of President Trump is politically motivated.”
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has sued the House Judiciary Committee and its chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan, in an effort to block the panel from subpoenaing an attorney who worked on Bragg’s investigation of former President Donald Trump. The attorney in question, Mark Pomerantz, quit Bragg’s office last year after the DA initially decided not to prosecute Trump and later wrote a book calling for the prosecution of the 45th president. Jordan subpoenaed Pomerantz on April 6, two days after Trump was arraigned on 34 felony charges of falsifying business records.
Bragg’s lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court, called Jordan’s subpoena an “unprecedentedly brazen and unconstitutional attack” on the case against Trump. The lawsuit argues that Jordan’s demands for “highly sensitive and confidential local prosecutorial information” belonging to the Office of the District Attorney and the People of New York violate basic principles of federalism and common sense, as well as binding Supreme Court precedent.
In its subpoena, which called for Pomerantz to sit for a deposition on April 20, the Judiciary Committee said the attorney’s “public statements about the investigation strongly suggest that Bragg’s prosecution of President Trump is politically motivated.” Pomerantz is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit along with Jordan and the Judiciary Committee, though the attorney has given no indication that he would testify voluntarily.
While Jordan and House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) demanded Bragg hand over documents and testify about the case against Trump on March 20, ten days before a Manhattan grand jury returned an indictment of Trump, Bragg’s general counsel, Leslie Dubeck, responded that compliance with the committees’ request would “interfere with law enforcement” and require the disclosure of information about confidential grand jury proceedings.
The Judiciary Committee announced plans to hold a field hearing in Lower Manhattan next week on what it called “New York’s rampant crime and victims of Alvin Bragg,” who downgraded 52% of felony cases to misdemeanors in his first ten months in office.
Source: NY Post
It is important to note that the lawsuit is ongoing, and the claims made by both sides have not yet been proven in court. The case highlights the tension between federal and state authorities and raises questions about the limits of Congress’s authority to investigate ongoing criminal cases. The situation will likely continue to develop in the coming weeks and months, and it will be interesting to see how it unfolds. It is impossible to ignore that this entire situation has the undeniable stench of political partisanship. This is a dangerous moment in the American legal system.
There have been several instances in American history where a President has been accused of committing crimes. Three notable examples include:
Andrew Johnson: In 1868, President Andrew Johnson was impeached by the House of Representatives for violating the Tenure of Office Act. The Senate ultimately acquitted him by one vote.
Richard Nixon: In 1974, President Richard Nixon resigned from office following the Watergate scandal, in which he was accused of obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and contempt of Congress.
Bill Clinton: In 1998, President Bill Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives for perjury and obstruction of justice related to the Monica Lewinsky scandal. The Senate ultimately acquitted him.
President Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment
The impeachment of President Andrew Johnson was a significant event in American history. The incident occurred in 1868 when President Johnson was impeached by the House of Representatives for violating the Tenure of Office Act.
The Tenure of Office Act was passed by Congress in 1867, which required the president to seek approval from the Senate before dismissing any government official who had been confirmed by the Senate. The act was passed to prevent President Johnson, who was a Democrat, from removing Republican appointees from office during his presidency.
In February 1868, President Johnson dismissed the Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, who was a Republican and a strong supporter of the Radical Republican Party. Johnson believed that Stanton was working against his administration’s policies, and he wanted to replace him with someone more sympathetic to his views. However, Johnson’s action violated the Tenure of Office Act, which required him to seek the Senate’s approval before removing Stanton from office.
The House of Representatives, which was controlled by the Radical Republicans, quickly moved to impeach Johnson for violating the Tenure of Office Act. The articles of impeachment were approved by the House on February 24, 1868, and Johnson became the first president to be impeached by the House of Representatives.
The impeachment trial was held in the Senate, and it lasted for over two months. During the trial, the House managers argued that Johnson had violated the Tenure of Office Act, and that he had committed other “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Johnson’s defense argued that he had the right to remove Stanton from office, and that the Tenure of Office Act was unconstitutional.
In the end, the Senate acquitted Johnson by one vote. The final vote was 35-19, with one senator abstaining. The vote was largely along party lines, with most Republicans voting to convict and most Democrats voting to acquit. Seven Republican senators voted to acquit Johnson, which was enough to prevent his removal from office.
The impeachment of Andrew Johnson was a significant event in American history. It demonstrated the tension between the executive and legislative branches of government, and it highlighted the struggle for power during the post-Civil War era. The trial also set an important precedent for future presidential impeachments, including the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998 and President Donald Trump in 2019.
President Richard Nixon Resigns
The Watergate scandal began in 1972, during Nixon’s re-election campaign, when five men were arrested for breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington D.C. An investigation revealed that the break-in was part of a broader campaign of political espionage and sabotage carried out by the Nixon campaign and the Committee to Re-Elect the President (CRP). The Nixon administration was accused of using illegal methods to gather intelligence on political opponents and obstructing the subsequent investigation.
The House of Representatives began impeachment proceedings against Nixon in 1974, alleging that he had obstructed justice, abused his power, and failed to comply with congressional subpoenas. In July of that year, the House Judiciary Committee approved three articles of impeachment against Nixon, charging him with obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and contempt of Congress. Before the full House could vote on the articles, Nixon resigned from office on August 9, 1974, becoming the only U.S. president to resign from office.
Nixon’s resignation was the culmination of a long and contentious battle between the executive and legislative branches of the U.S. government over the limits of presidential power. The Watergate scandal and the subsequent investigation and impeachment proceedings raised important questions about the separation of powers and the rule of law in American democracy.
In the years since Nixon’s resignation, the Watergate scandal has become a touchstone in American political history and a cautionary tale about the dangers of unchecked executive power. It has also had a lasting impact on the public’s trust in government and the media, as well as on the role of investigative journalism in American democracy.
President Bill Clinton’s Impeachment
In 1998, President Bill Clinton faced impeachment by the House of Representatives for perjury and obstruction of justice. The charges were brought forth after a scandal involving Clinton’s affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky came to light.
Clinton’s impeachment began on December 19, 1998, when the House of Representatives voted to approve two articles of impeachment against him. The first article accused him of perjury before a grand jury when he denied having sexual relations with Lewinsky, and the second article accused him of obstruction of justice for attempting to cover up the affair.
The impeachment trial then moved to the Senate, where a two-thirds vote was required to convict and remove Clinton from office. The trial began on January 7, 1999, with Chief Justice William Rehnquist presiding.
The Senate ultimately acquitted Clinton of both charges on February 12, 1999. The perjury charge was defeated by a vote of 55-45, with 10 Republicans voting not guilty, and the obstruction of justice charge was defeated by a vote of 50-50.
Clinton’s acquittal was largely due to the fact that many Americans believed the charges against him were politically motivated and did not rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors required for impeachment. Additionally, Clinton remained popular throughout the ordeal, with his approval ratings remaining in the high 60s and low 70s.
Despite being acquitted, the scandal had a lasting impact on Clinton’s presidency and legacy. He was the second president in American history to be impeached, and the impeachment proceedings left a stain on his presidency that overshadowed many of his accomplishments.
In the end, the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the subsequent impeachment proceedings served as a reminder of the power of scandal and the importance of ethical conduct in the highest office in the land.