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GOP-led House panel to hold Manhattan hearing targeting DA Alvin Bragg’s crime policies, NYC Dems furious at ‘stunt’

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks during an on-camera interview near the House Chambers during a series of votes in the U.S. Capitol Building on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images/TNS)

A House panel led by Donald Trump ally Jim Jordan said Monday that it will hold a hearing next week in Manhattan tying District Attorney Alvin Bragg to local violent crime — infuriating Democrats and intensifying the GOP’s attacks on the prosecutor who charged the former president.

The House Judiciary Committee chaired by Jordan, an Ohio congressman, said the highly unusual hearing will take place next Monday at the Javits Federal Building, less than three blocks from Bragg’s lower Manhattan office.

The committee said in a statement that the so-called field hearing will focus on crime victims, and examine how Bragg’s “policies have led to an increase in violent crime” in New York.

Witnesses were not immediately announced.

But Democrats’ anger at the hearing instantly bubbled over. Local Democratic voices declared that congressional Republicans planned to use their House platform to bully Bragg and interfere with the prosecution.

Rep. Ritchie Torres, a Bronx Democrat, said in an interview that the hearing “crosses a line that should never be crossed” and marks “an unprecedented intrusion into the sovereignty of New York State.”

Rep. Dan Goldman, the Manhattan Democrat whose district includes the site of the planned hearing, said in a statement that Jordan seeks to “weaponize Congress to obstruct an ongoing, non-federal criminal prosecution.”

“Chairman Jordan is not welcome in my district for this political stunt,” Goldman added.

And Rep. Jerrold Nadler of Manhattan, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, tweeted that “New Yorkers don’t need to take public safety advice from Jim Jordan, whose ‘tough on crime’ solution is to defund the DOJ and FBI.”

It was not clear how Democrats on the judiciary panel would handle the hearing. But Dan Rubin, a spokesman for Nadler, said committee Democrats planned to attend.

In a sharply worded statement, Bragg’s office highlighted high urban crime rates in Jordan’s home state of Ohio and predicted the hearing “won’t engage in actual efforts to increase public safety, such as supporting national gun legislation.”

“If Chairman Jordan truly cared about public safety, he could take a short drive to Columbus, Dayton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Akron, or Toledo in his home state, instead of using taxpayer dollars to travel hundreds of miles out of his way,” Bragg’s office said.

Crime rates rose in New York City during Bragg’s first year in office, according to the NYPD. But crime has flatlined in Manhattan and citywide this year, according to police data, and some violent crime rates are falling sharply.

Bragg, a Harlem Democrat, has served as Manhattan’s district attorney for 15 months. He faced significant criticism at the start of his tenure over a staff memo in which he encouraged dialing back prosecution of minor crimes. He later revised some of his policies.

In March, Bragg’s office unveiled a historic indictment that charged Trump with 34 felony counts linked to a hush money payment Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen fashioned for Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump pleaded not guilty.

As Bragg moved to bring charges against Trump, his office met with a wave of racist death threats.

Trump, the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges, has accused Bragg of carrying out a political persecution.

Attacking Bragg on social media and from the stage of his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, Trump has portrayed the district attorney as a “racist in reverse” and a “radical left George Soros-backed prosecutor.”

Soros, a billionaire Democratic megadonor, has said he did not donate to Bragg’s 2021 campaign.

The core of the Republican Party has followed Trump in the blitz of Bragg.

Rep. Andy Biggs, an Arizona Republican who serves on the House Judiciary Committee, said in a Monday tweet that if “Bragg can spend resources indicting President Trump, he should be able to address the soaring crime in NYC.”

And Jordan, a hardline conservative Republican who is said to speak often with Trump, tweeted that Bragg has pursued “radical pro-crime, anti-victim policies.”

Jordan has baselessly challenged the validity of President Biden’s 2020 election victory and was blocked by Democrats from serving on the House panel that probed the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Prior to Trump’s indictment, Jordan and two other powerful House Republicans sent a letter to Bragg asking him to testify before Congress and suggesting the district attorney was on the cusp of an “unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority.”

In a response to the Republicans, Bragg’s general counsel, Leslie Dubeck, called the request an “unlawful incursion into New York’s sovereignty.”

But Jordan’s biting attacks on Bragg only appeared to be sharpening after Trump’s arraignment.

Torres, the Bronx congressman, said Monday that Jordan has decided to use “government resources to exact political revenge on behalf of his Lord and Savior Donald Trump.”

“It’s a violation of ethics, and it should be a violation of law,” Torres said. “The issue of Donald Trump’s innocence and guilt should be litigated in a court of law, not in the Court of Jim Jordan.”


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