Matt Gaetz pushes to hold former NYC prosecutor in contempt over Trump charges
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) at the impeachment hearings (screengrab)

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is pushing for a contempt of Congress vote against Mark Pomerantz, a former prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney's office who was called to testify about D.A. Alvin Bragg's prosecution of former President Donald Trump.

Gaetz said he is unsatisfied with the number of questions Pomerantz invoked the Fifth Amendment on, reported The Independent.

“I believe Mr. Pomerantz engaged in misconduct in his targeting of President Trump, and his refusal to answer simple questions should not go unpunished,” said Gaetz. “He should be held in contempt of Congress and be compelled to answer the questions regarding the weaponization of the Manhattan DA’s office. If he fails to comply with the congressional subpoena, then the Sergeant at Arms of the House of Representatives must summon him by force.”

"Mr Pomerantz had previously been tapped to serve in the district attorney’s office by its previous occupant Cyrus Vance to investigate former Mr Trump. But Mr Pomerantz quit his position last March under current District Attorney Alvin Bragg and then authored a book that claimed that Mr Bragg backed off indicting Mr Trump despite the fact the indictment had been authorized by Mr Vance," reported Eric Garcia.

"Mr Bragg’s office later indicted Mr Trump and he was arrested in April. The House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government subpoenaed Mr Pomerantz shortly thereafter. Mr Bragg authorized Congress to question Mr Pomerantz. Mr Pomerantz later testified before the committee on 12 May but repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment rights."

The right to not incriminate oneself in questioning is a foundational right in the U.S. Constitution. Trump, despite having used it himself many times, has scoffed, "if you're innocent, why are you taking the Fifth?"

In fact, there are many reasons innocent people might exercise the right as well, including to avoid the risk of the government prosecuting them for perjury over true statements they don't believe are true.

Bragg is prosecuting Trump on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, relating to his alleged $130,000 hush payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. The former president is facing several other legal investigations, including state and federal probes into the plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and the improper retention of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.