With an indictment of Donald Trump looming in Manhattan, Republicans in the House of Representatives are looking for ways to strike back against the far-left district attorney pursuing the charge.
The grand jury in the case is set to meet on Monday, hearing testimony from “surprise witness” Robert Costello, who was a legal adviser for Michael Cohen and has also represented Rudy Giuliani. Cohen is then expected to provide counter-testimony before deliberations begin, leading to a vote on the indictment.
Because this is a state-level issue, the options that House Republicans have are limited, yet they are preparing to make moves according to Politico and Fox News.
1. In the short term, Republicans are discussing firing off letters summoning employees of the Manhattan DA’s office for sworn testimony, according to a GOP official familiar with the plans. The potential request comes amid speculation about why the hush-money case was suddenly resurrected after being back-burnered by both state and federal prosecutors.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans are not final, noted that McCarthy, a longtime Trump ally and close friend, is “fully supportive and pushing folks to be aggressive here.”
2) Fox is told this could spark a standoff between Capitol Hill and the DA’s office. The problem in judicial circles is that the Bragg’s office could argue that the House panel is trying to interference in its prosecution.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) March 20, 2023
That would certainly be an escalation. How effective of one it would be is another matter. It feels a bit like getting called into the principal’s office after you’ve already graduated. Alvin Bragg, the DA in question, is a ruthless partisan, and he’s also not part of the federal government. The congressional oversight role is very limited, mainly to the point of threatening federal funding.
Even that is likely to fall flat, though, given Republicans do not control the levers of power necessary to follow through on any threat to cut funding.
With that said, the game here is likely not to do anything concrete (because again, they can’t). It’s more to shine a bright spotlight on Bragg, his history, and his current actions. Making him appear before Congress to answer questions would accomplish that and put pressure on the partisan prosecutor.
Republicans would be smart to use such an opportunity to dive into how Bragg gained his office. That includes a large amount of money he took from George Soros. There’s also plenty in his background to bring up that shows he’s got a deep-seated, hysterical bias toward Donald Trump.
Would that stop the pursuit of the indictment if it indeed drops this week? Likely not, but any pushback here is something, and House Republicans are showing voters that they won’t sit idly by. That’s a win for the party in the end. Sometimes there are no perfect solutions, but you take the ones you have.
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