Former Prosecutor Refuses to Answer House Judiciary Committee’s Questions on Criminal Investigation of Donald Trump

Former Prosecutor Refuses to Answer House Judiciary Committee’s Questions on Criminal Investigation of Donald Trump

The House Judiciary Committee has been investigating whether the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office’s probe and charging of Donald Trump were politically motivated. The committee subpoenaed former prosecutor Mark Pomerantz, who was a top prosecutor in the DA’s investigation into Trump, to testify about the criminal investigation of Donald Trump in which he once played a leading role.

The Deposition

Former prosecutor Mark Pomerantz refused to answer questions at a deposition by the House Judiciary Committee about a criminal investigation of Donald Trump. Pomerantz said in an opening statement prepared for his deposition that the Judiciary Committee’s demand for his testimony was “an act of political theater.” He argued that he had the right to not answer questions if they were not pertinent “to a legitimate legislative function.” Pomerantz cited Trump’s recent criminal indictment in New York for allegedly falsifying business records related to a hush money payment as another reason he would not answer questions about the probe. He also cited his Fifth Amendment right under the Constitution not to answer questions that could be used against him in a possible criminal case.

Committee Members’ Reactions

Committee member Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., told reporters later that Pomerantz refused to answer any questions at the deposition. “I’ve never had a more obstructive and less cooperative witness in my over 20 years in Congress,” Issa said. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, whose chairman is a close Republican ally of Trump, later told a pool reporter that “I can’t talk about what Mr. Pomerantz may or may not have said — just committee rules.”

The Lawsuit

The Judiciary Committee earlier this year subpoenaed Pomerantz, who dramatically quit the DA’s office in early 2022, after the new district attorney, Alvin Bragg, decided to pause the probe. Bragg in late 2022 resurrected an inquiry into whether Trump had committed a crime by misstating in business records the nature of reimbursements and other money paid to his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen. Trump was indicted on the business records charges in late March. Bragg sued the Judiciary Committee in federal court in Manhattan to block the subpoena to Pomerantz, but on April 21, the DA and the panel reached an agreement that allowed Pomerantz to appear for his deposition Friday.

Pomerantz, when he left the committee room, said, “I have nothing, nothing whatsoever to say.” His lawyer Ted Wells said that Pomerantz’s opening statement “is very clear as to what happened.” The case is not expected to go to trial until next year at the earliest, when Trump will be contesting for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.

Politics

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