DA Bragg withdraws suit to block congressional subpoena of former prosecutor Pomerantz, agrees to deal for his testimony

April 23, 2023
Ben Marquis

Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sued House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) to block a subpoena of former assistant prosecutor Mark Pomerantz but was defeated in stunning fashion as a district court judge upheld the subpoena and ordered Pomerantz to testify before the committee.

Bragg immediately appealed the case and won a temporary delay, but then dropped his suit and reached an agreement with the committee for Pomerantz to testify, albeit with an attorney from Bragg's office at his side, the Daily Wire reported.

The purpose of that additional attorney is to raise objections to any questions from the committee that may intrude on the privileges and interests of the DA's office.

Former Bragg assistant subpoenaed

On April 6, the House Judiciary Committee issued a subpoena for former special assistant prosecutor Pomerantz to testify about what he knew with regard to DA Bragg's effort to criminally indict former President Donald Trump over the 2016 "hush money" payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels to suppress her allegations of a 2006 affair with Trump.

Pomerantz famously resigned in protest in 2022 over Bragg's slow pace in bringing charges against Trump and then proceeded to write a book and give multiple public interviews with details about the investigation and potential prosecution of the former president.

It was asserted by the committee that Pomerantz was uniquely situated to shed light on the alleged partisan motivations behind the prosecution of the former president, as well as to provide insight with respect to possible legislative reforms on the use of federal funds by local prosecutors and to protect current and former presidents from politically motivated prosecutions.

Bragg then filed his lawsuit to block that subpoena and argued that the committee had no valid legislative purpose for questioning Pomerantz and merely sought to intimidate and interfere with the DA's office in retaliation for the criminal charges filed against Trump.

However, District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil, a Trump appointee, ruled that there was a "valid legislative purpose" undergirding the subpoena and ordered Pomerantz to appear before the committee to testify on April 20.

Appeal withdrawn, delayed deposition will occur

Pomerantz did not testify on April 20, though, as Bragg had immediately appealed Judge Vyskocil's order to the 2nd Circuit and secured a temporary stay to delay the order over the weekend until a three-judge panel could hear the arguments from both sides in the case.

Yet, that hearing never occurred either, as both the House Judiciary Committee and DA Bragg announced separately Friday evening that the appeal had been withdrawn as a negotiated agreement had been reached with regard to the subpoenaed testimony of Pomerantz that Bragg had strenuously opposed.

A spokesman for Committee Chair Jordan said in a statement, "This evening, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office withdrew its appeal in Bragg v. Jordan. Mr. Pomerantz’s deposition will go forward on May 12, and we look forward to his appearance."

Bragg spins settlement as victory

Just a short while later, Bragg tweeted out a statement of his own that said, "Our successful stay of this subpoena blocked the immediate deposition and afforded us the time necessary to coordinate with the House Judiciary Committee on an agreement that protects the District Attorney’s privileges and interests."

"We are pleased with this resolution, which ensures any questioning of our former employee will take place in the presence of our General Counsel on a reasonable, agreed upon timeframe," the DA added. "We are gratified that the Second Circuit’s ruling provided us with the opportunity to successfully resolve this dispute."

Though Bragg seemed to spin the development as a "successful" victory on his part, it was, in fact, a loss in light of the fact that Pomerantz will ultimately testify before the committee, albeit with one of Bragg's attorneys present, when he initially sought to prevent the deposition of Pomerantz altogether.

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