GOP lawmaker: Former Trump prosecutor declines to supply particulars on hush-money investigation

WASHINGTON — An ex-prosecutor who as soon as oversaw Manhattan’s yearslong investigation of former President Donald Trump declined to substantively reply questions at a closed-door deposition Friday of the Home Judiciary Committee, in response to a Republican lawmaker within the assembly.

Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, exited the assembly after roughly one hour and mentioned Pomerantz, the previous prosecutor, repeatedly invoked the Fifth Modification that protects folks from offering self-incriminating testimony.

Trump faces 34 felony counts of falsifying enterprise information in a scheme to bury allegations of extramarital affairs that arose throughout his 2016 White Home marketing campaign. GOP lawmakers have decried the investigation as a “political persecution” and launched an oversight probe.

Pomerantz in a written opening assertion referred to as the committee’s inquiry itself “an act of political theater.” He additionally defined he was invoking the Fifth Modification as a result of the Manhattan District Legal professional’s workplace had beforehand warned him earlier than he printed a guide on the investigation that he might face prison legal responsibility if he revealed grand jury materials or violated a provision of the New York Metropolis Constitution coping with misuse of confidential info.

Pomerantz, who left Manhattan District Legal professional Alvin Bragg’s workplace after disagreements over the route of the Trump investigation, was subpoenaed by the Republican-controlled Home committee. The panel, chaired by GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, is probing how Bragg dealt with Trump’s historic indictment.

“This deposition is for present,” Pomerantz additionally mentioned in ready remarks. “I don’t consider for a second that I’m right here to help a real effort to enact laws or conduct legislative ‘oversight.’”

Bragg had sued to halt Jordan’s subpoena of Pomerantz, however final month agreed to Pomerantz’s testimony after a delay and a situation that legal professionals from the prosecutor’s workplace be current. The committee has mentioned it might have allowed the district lawyer’s legal professionals even with out the settlement.

Pomerantz had argued in courtroom papers that the subpoena left him in an “unattainable place” and would probably require him to violate his moral obligations.

Issa, the GOP lawmaker, instructed reporters, “That is an obstructing witness who has no intention of answering any questions.”

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, one other Republican on the committee, additionally mentioned lawmakers had been “not getting many solutions.”

Jordan exited the assembly room after a deposition that lasted effectively over 5 hours and instructed reporters he was “stunned at among the solutions,” however declined to supply additional particulars, citing committee guidelines.

Pomerantz’s lawyer, Ted Wells, instructed reporters that his opening assertion explaining why he wouldn’t be answering questions made it “very clear as to what occurred.”

Pomerantz is allowed to refuse to reply sure questions that contact on authorized privilege and moral obligations, however Jordan might additionally rule on these assertions on a case-by-case foundation. The Republican lawmaker mentioned he can be conferring with the committee’s attorneys and members about taking authorized motion in opposition to Pomerantz, together with holding him in contempt of Congress.

A contempt of Congress cost would require a full committee vote earlier than going to the ground of the Republican-majority Home.

Pomerantz just lately wrote a guide about his work pursuing Trump and mentioned the investigation in interviews on “60 Minutes” and different reveals. However Issa mentioned he was not answering questions even on earlier statements he had made.

Issa urged the combat over testimony will return to the authorized system, saying it might be “for the courtroom to determine once we object to his failure to reply any questions.”

Bragg’s workplace mentioned in a press release, “Per the settlement we reached with the committee final month, the District Legal professional’s Workplace is taking part in at this time’s deposition and asserting our rights to oppose disclosure of confidential info protected by legislation.”

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