House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is among three House Republican committee chairmen to sign a letter Monday requesting testimony from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in relation to a potential indictment of former President Donald Trump. File Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo
March 20 (UPI) -- Three Republican chairmen of House committees penned a letter to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Monday "demanding" his testimony ahead of any potential indictment of former President Donald Trump.
House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer of Kentucky, and House Administration Committee Chairman Bryan Steil of Wisconsin signed the letter. They accuse Bragg of taking part in an "unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority" in his handling of the hush-money case involving Trump and adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
"You are reportedly about to engage in an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority: the indictment of a former president of the United States and current declared candidate for that office," the letter states.
"This indictment comes after years of your office searching for a basis -- any basis -- on which to bring charges, ultimately settling on a novel legal theory untested anywhere in the country and one that federal authorities declined to pursue."
The letter comes days after Trump posted on Truth Social that he expects to be arrested Tuesday.
The Republican trio argue that the potential list of charges include breaking campaign finance law, which they say the Justice Department has declined to pursue, and falsifying business records, which they say typically is a misdemeanor crime with a two-year statute of limitations. They note that a district attorney can elevate the crime to a felony if it is established that there was intent to commit another crime. In that case, the statute of limitations would be five years.
"Which would likely expire soon and thus explains your rush to indictment," the letter says.
The blowback from Republicans has been resounding, from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California to Trump's potential opponent for the Republican presidential nomination, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
"I don't know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair. I can't speak to that," DeSantis said at a Panama City, Fla., news conference.
"But what I can speak to is that if you have a prosecutor who is ignoring crimes happening every single day in his jurisdiction, and he chooses to go back many, many years ago to try to use something about porn-star hush-money payments, that's an example of pursuing a political agenda, and weaponizing the office, and I think that that's fundamentally wrong."
McCarthy, meanwhile, called the prospect of indicting the former president an "outrageous abuse of power."
In Trump's social media post about an arrest, he called on his supporters to protest, causing alarm for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. On Saturday, Bragg notified employees at the office that he is coordinating with law enforcement to ensure their safety.
Speaking to NBC News, McCarthy said he does not believe people should protest an indictment of Trump and "if you talk to him, he doesn't believe that, either."
In other news Monday, Trump and his legal team are attempting to quash a final report from a Georgia grand jury investigating his attempts to subvert the results of the 2020 presidential election.
In a 51-page filing, Trump's attorneys seek to prevent any evidence from the Fulton County, Ga., special-purpose grand jury investigation to be used and have Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis' office recused from any further investigation.