Manhattan DA to testify to House committee after Trump sentencing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg will testify before Congress on July 12, a day after former U.S. President Donald Trump is sentenced in his hush money case, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Republicans on the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee said on X they had also secured testimony from Matthew Colangelo, a prosecutor on Bragg’s team and a former Justice Department official. 

A Manhattan jury last month convicted Trump on charges, brought by Bragg’s office, of falsifying business records to hide a $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels for her silence before the 2016 election about a sexual encounter she says they had, which he denies. 

Trump has vowed to appeal following his July 11 sentencing before Justice Juan Merchan in New York state criminal court in Manhattan.

The hearing before a Republican-led subcommittee will give Trump’s congressional allies a chance to rail against the first-ever criminal trial of a U.S. president, which they call a politically-motivated effort by Bragg – an elected Democrat – to interfere in the Nov. 5 election. Bragg has said ensuring companies keep accurate books is a top priority in Manhattan, which he calls the business capital of the world.

Trump’s allies have pointed to Colangelo’s role as evidence that President Joe Biden’s administration was involved in the prosecution – a claim that Justice Department officials have dismissed as baseless.

“It undermines the rule of law to spread dangerous misinformation,” a spokesperson for Bragg’s office said in a statement. “Nonetheless, we respect our government institutions and plan to appear voluntarily before the subcommittee.” 

Local prosecutors such as Bragg operate independently of the Justice Department.

In a letter to U.S. Representative Jim Jordan, the committee’s chair, Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte said the Justice Department had searched its officials’ email communications for correspondence with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office about the Trump case and found none. 

“The conspiracy theory that the recent jury verdict in New York state court was somehow controlled by the Department is not only false, it is irresponsible,” Uriarte wrote in a letter seen by Reuters on Tuesday.

In testimony before the committee last week, Attorney General Merrick Garland said suggestions he had dispatched Colangelo to Bragg’s office were false. 

(Reporting by Jasper Ward in Washington and Luc Cohen in New York; additional reporting by Makini Brice in Washington; editing by David Ljunggren and Alistair Bell)


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