Political Theater or Legitimate Action? GOP Announces Hearing on Manhattan Crime

Michaels Reynolds/Pool via AP

Republicans in the House Judiciary Committee are taking aim at New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg not long after the prosecutor issued an indictment against former President Donald Trump. The indictment, which features 34 dubious charges, ignited a firestorm on the airwaves and interwebs, with people on both sides of the political divide questioning the veracity of the case against the former president.

House Republicans’ plans to target Bragg could raise concerns about political motivations when it comes to how they plan to proceed. While it is important to address and combat crime, particularly violent crime, in any community, it is reasonable to question whether this particular hearing is designed solely to score political points.

Breitbart News reported:

House Judiciary Republicans on Monday announced an upcoming hearing shining a spotlight on the victims of “violent crime” in the anti-Trump district attorney Alvin Bragg’s Manhattan.

According to a release from the GOP, the field hearing, dubbed “Victims of Violent Crime in Manhattan,” will take place Monday, April 17, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. Eastern in the Big Apple.

The announcement also explained that this hearing would “examine how Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s pro-crime, anti-victim policies have led to an increase in violent crime and a dangerous community for New York City residents.”

This development comes after Bragg decided to formally indict former President Donald Trump over the alleged hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal before the 2016 election. The Manhattan district attorney alleges that Trump “repeatedly and fraudulently falsified New York business records to conceal crimes that hid damaging information from the voting public during the 2016 presidential election.”

Yes, it is true that almost anyone with an IQ above room temperature can see that this is a politically-motivated effort to target the former president. But is conducting a congressional investigation into Bragg going to help matters?

The Republican Party, in general, has been critical of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s policies since his election in 2021. His handling of crime in his district has been abysmal, and New Yorkers have already been paying the price. Why wouldn’t Congress have cared about this before Bragg decided to go after Trump? It won’t be difficult for Democrats to point out that this investigation would also be politically motivated – even though they would be feckless hypocrites for even bothering to complain about it.

Furthermore, it is unclear what the purpose of the hearing would be. If the hearing is solely intended to draw attention to the issue of crime in Manhattan and the potential impact of Bragg’s policies on public safety, it is unclear how this would be achieved. Numerous reports have shown that crime in the area has been on the rise and that Bragg’s policies have contributed greatly to it. It does not seem likely that another investigation will turn up anything we do not already know.

While the issue of crime in Manhattan is certainly one that deserves attention and action, the motivations behind the Republican Party’s announcement of a hearing on the topic don’t seem to be clear. Even if the probe turns up more information, it doesn’t seem like Congress will be able to do anything about it. It is not as if they can punish Bragg for protecting criminals more than law-abiding civilians.

Of course, I am not saying that holding hearings and launching investigations into Bragg’s effort to prosecute Trump would be unwarranted. In fact, that is precisely what Jordan and the gang should be focusing on. We already know Bragg is trying to interfere in the 2024 presidential election, but how nice would it be to find proof of this? In fact, this should probably be House Republicans’ primary focus when it comes to what is coming out of New York.

This particular hearing is clearly designed solely to score political points, particularly given its timing and the current political climate. But if it only uncovers information we already know, how many points can it really score?

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