A federal magistrate has denied Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s request to prevent a former prosecutor from testifying before the House Judiciary Committee.
Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil of the U.S. District Court ruled on Wednesday that former prosecutor Mark Pomerantz, who is scheduled to testify on Thursday at 10 a.m., “must attend for the congressional deposition. No one is superior to the law.”
According to the New York Post, the committee, convened by Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, issued the subpoena to ascertain whether federal funds were used in the investigation of former President Donald Trump.
As a consequence of the investigation conducted by Bragg, Trump faces 34 criminal counts for allegedly falsifying business records.
According to CNN, Bragg’s office stated it would appeal Vyskocil’s ruling but lost a round Wednesday night when she denied Bragg’s request for a stay on her order pending the appeal.
Pomerantz resigned in 2022 as a special assistant district attorney, citing Bragg’s refusal to prosecute Trump. According to ABC News, he penned a book about the experience later on.
A spokesman for Jordan praised the ruling of the judge appointed by Trump.
“Today’s decision shows that Congress has the ability to conduct oversight and issue subpoenas to people like Mark Pomeranz, and we look forward to his deposition before the Judiciary Committee,” Russell Dye said, according to ABC News.
Vyskocil stated that her decision was not an endorsement of either side in what she termed a political struggle.
“In our federalist system, elected state and federal actors sometimes engage in political dogfights,” the judge wrote. “The Court does not endorse either side’s agenda. The sole question before the Court at this time is whether Bragg has a legal basis to quash a congressional subpoena that was issued with a valid legislative purpose. He does not.”
“It is not the role of the federal judiciary to dictate what legislation Congress may consider or how it should conduct its deliberations in that connection. Mr. Pomerantz must appear for the congressional deposition. No one is above the law,” Vyskocil wrote.
“Bragg’s throw-everything-at-the-wall approach to privilege is unpersuasive,” she said, rejecting the DA’s claim that sensitive information would be exposed.
She stated that Bragg began the political process by submitting his lawsuit.
“The Court is further unmoved by Bragg’s purported concern at the prospect of ‘inject[ing] partisan passions’ into a forum where they do not belong. By bringing this action, Bragg is engaging in precisely the type of political theater he claims to fear,” Vyskocil wrote.
“Jordan and the Committee have identified several valid legislative purposes underlying the subpoena,” she said, adding, “There can be no doubt that Congress may permissibly investigate the use of federal funds, particularly where the result of the investigation might prompt Congress to pass legislation changing how such funds are appropriated or may be spent.”
The case, according to Vyskocil, is rife with political motivations.
“Bragg complains of political interference in the local DANY [District Attorney of New York] case, but Bragg does not operate outside of the political arena,” she wrote. “Bragg is presumptively acting in good faith. That said, he is an elected prosecutor in New York County with constituents, some of whom wish to see Bragg wield the force of law against the former President and a current candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.”
“Jordan, in turn, has initiated a political response to what he and some of his constituents view as a manifest abuse of power and nakedly political prosecution, funded [in part] with federal money, that has the potential to interfere with the exercise of presidential duties and with an upcoming federal election,” the judge said.