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House Republicans earlier this week in a letter to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg requested that the prosecutor testify and provide documents in connection with the investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels.
Braggs, who could issue what would be the first indictment against a former president, is being urged by legal experts to take a hard pass on the letter sent to Bragg by GOP Reps. Jim Jordan, Bryan Steil and James Comer. All three are members of the weaponization of the federal government subcommittee panel.
In an opinion piece published on MSNBC’s website Wednesday, former White House ethics lawyer Norman Eisen, government integrity lawyer Fred Wertheimer and appellate lawyer Josh Stanton describe the request as a naked effort to interfere with a state prosecution.
“Congress cannot lawfully use its investigative power to engage in law enforcement,” the trio of legal heavyweights wrote.
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“But we argue that is precisely what these congressmen are attempting by seeking to second-guess and superintend a single specific pending case by a prosecutor. Any move to issue a subpoena demanding Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg appear in Washington should be viewed as meddling that is both brazenly partisan and probably unlawful.”
The legal experts argue that an attempt by the congressmen to subpoena Bragg (should he decline their request) would be unenforceable.
“A subpoena violating that norm would disrupt the basic elements of our adversarial system of justice,” they said.
“As lawyers whose experience includes decades prosecuting or defending criminal cases, we can say that compliance with such a subpoena would kneecap the Manhattan district attorney.”
Furthermore, they argue such a subpoena would break an important “norm.”
“Although the defense is entitled to extensive discovery — as they should be — neither the defense nor the public is entitled to the detailed thoughts and impressions of the lawyers investigating and prosecuting a case,” Eisen, Wertheimer and Stanton argue.
“A subpoena violating that norm would disrupt the basic elements of our adversarial system of justice.”
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Mike Pence knows he's going to be forced to speak to the Jan. 6 grand jury: aides
Former Vice President Mike Pence has tried to dodge a subpoena around the special counsel's investigation of the Jan. 6 attacks on Congress and the attempt to overthrow the election.
He's claiming that as the president of the Senate, he was operating in his role as a legislator, thus he should be safe from testifying due to Article 1, Section 6 of the U.S. Constitution, the "speech and debate clause." It protects lawmakers who are working in the course of their jobs as an elected official. Legal analysts have said that it's a Hail Mary pass that isn't likely to work.
According to the Washington Post, Pence knows that he/s going to be forced to speak to the grand jury whether he wants to or not.
"Pence’s advisers have privately accepted the possibility that the former vice president might have to testify against his former boss and likely political rival during an election season," the report said, citing a person familiar with the conversations.
Last weekend, Pence told ABC News that it is the only plea that he is using.
“We’re not asserting executive privilege, which may encompass other discussions, I believe, the president may well have brought a claim for that. But I just believe that the work that I did, preparing for and conducting my role as president of the Senate, is covered by the speech and debate clause," said Pence.
It puts Pence in a difficult position because if he intends to run for president, he'll need the support of Donald Trump's fans to get through a Republican Primary.
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As former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — the latter of whom has not even formally declared his candidacy yet — increasingly duke it out for the 2024 presidential nomination, Republican candidates on the lower rungs are fighting to break through. And they are now gearing up to attack the two frontrunners themselves, POLITICO reported on Wednesday.
"Former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and former Vice President Mike Pence have begun more aggressively criticizing positions held by Trump, and now DeSantis, on a range of foreign and domestic issues," reported Natalie Allison and Adam Wren. "They have been aided, their respective teams believe, by DeSantis’ decision to leave little daylight between himself and Trump on key topics, from the war in Ukraine to entitlement reform."
"'Ron DeSantis is copying Donald Trump on Ukraine, entitlement reform, and who knows what’s next?' Haley adviser Nachama Soloveichik said in a statement to POLITICO, describing the former South Carolina governor as 'a leader on these serious issues facing our country’s future' who 'will continue to note her differences with both Republicans and Democrats who want to bury their heads in the sand,'" said the report. "'Republicans deserve a choice, not a copycat,' Soloveichik said."
Pence, meanwhile, has attacked both Trump and DeSantis for staking out absolutist positions on protecting entitlement programs, saying at a speech at Washington & Lee University that he cannot “endorse voices in our party today that simply want to walk past the problem of national debt by pledging to never touch Social Security and Medicare.”
For their parts, the erstwhile allies Trump and DeSantis, who commandingly outstrip everyone else in recent polling, have ramped up rhetoric against each other.
Earlier this week, DeSantis took a potshot at Trump for his legal trouble over a $130,000 hush payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Trump, meanwhile, attacked DeSantis in a new statement today accusing him of being a merely "average governor" who is mismanaging the state of Florida.
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