In a letter, District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office said the former president's false claim was not a "legitimate basis for congressional inquiry."
The office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is accusing top congressional Republicans of falling for fake news from former President Donald Trump
In a March 23 letter addressed to the leaders of three House committees, the general counsel for Bragg's office, Leslie B. Dubeck, confirmed that Trump is under investigation for potentially breaking New York law over an alleged hush payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. Reports suggest Trump could be indicted as soon as this week over allegations of falsifying business records to cover up the $130,000 check cut by former fixer Michael Cohen on the eve of the 2016 election.
Cohen himself was sentenced in 2018 to three years in prison in connection with the affair, with the Trump-era Justice Department noting in a statement that he had been reimbursed for the payment to Daniels "in monthly installments disguised as payments for legal services performed pursuant to a retainer, when in fact no such retainer existed."
The letter from Bragg's office was published Thursday afternoon by Axios. It comes after the Republican chairmen of the House Judiciary, Administration, and Oversight committees sent a letter on Monday to Bragg demanding he provide more information about the ongoing investigation. That came after Trump, over the weekend, asserted that he would be arrested on Tuesday of this week. He was not.
Reps. Jim Jordan, Bryan Steil, and James Comer had charged Bragg with engaging in an "unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority" and demanded he testify over "what plainly appears to be a politically motivated prosecutorial decision."
In response, Bragg's office accused the lawmakers of launching an "unprecedent[ed] inquiry into a pending local prosecution," one sparked only "after Donald Trump
created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day and his lawyers reportedly urged you to intervene." That, the letter states, is not "a legitimate basis for congressional inquiry."
A spokesperson for Bragg's office had earlier told Insider, in response to the GOP inquiry, that prosecutors "will not be intimidated by attempts to undermine the justice process, nor will we let baseless accusations deter us from fairly applying the law."
If Trump is indicted, he would be the first former president to face criminal charges. An attorney for the former president did not immediately respond to a request for comment.