In a legal saga that continues to unfold, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg finds himself embroiled in multiple lawsuits over his failure to comply with Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests.
The focus of these requests pertains to potential communication between Bragg’s office and the Justice Department, White House, and Democratic lawmakers concerning the highly publicized prosecution of former President Donald J Trump.
Bragg made headlines in March when he indicted Trump on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records. The charges stem from a thorough investigation into hush-money payments made during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Alleging that Trump sought to conceal damaging information and engage in unlawful activities, Bragg’s indictment signaled a significant step in the legal scrutiny faced by the former president.
However, the spotlight has now turned to Bragg himself, as the conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation, filed two lawsuits against him. According to reports from Fox News, the lawsuits claim that Bragg’s office potentially coordinated or communicated with the Justice Department, the White House, and Democratic Representative Daniel Goldman, leading to investigations by various U.S. House committees into Bragg’s conduct.
In its legal filings, The Heritage Foundation expresses concern over the lack of answers to their inquiries, raising suspicions about the potential weaponization of the criminal justice system against Trump. The foundation alleges a pattern of coordination among Trump’s political opponents and requests the court to classify the requested documents as subject to release under New York’s FOIL laws. Additionally, they seek to compel Bragg and his team to provide the documents while preventing them from seeking costs and fees related to the FOIL requests.
According to The Heritage Foundation, Bragg’s office has been largely uncooperative, withholding crucial communications between suspected parties. They argue that these communications should be accessible under New York’s FOIL laws. Mike Howell, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project, asserts that Bragg may have been actively coordinating or communicating with Trump’s political opposition, highlighting concerns about potential bias in the prosecution.
Critics accuse Bragg of hypocrisy, citing his lack of transparency and willingness to obstruct and delay the release of documents. The foundation argues that while Bragg pursues a prosecution against Trump based on what they consider a flimsy theory about document retention, he himself has failed to uphold the same standards. This has raised questions about a potential dual standard of justice at play.
The outcome of these lawsuits could have broader implications for the transparency and accountability of prosecutors in high-profile cases, and may shed light on the delicate balance between political motivations and the pursuit of justice.
Follow Alexander Carter on Twitter @AlexCarterDC for more!
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Historic House Vote Expels Rep. George Santos Amidst Scandal
In a turn of events, the House of Representatives made history on Friday with a vote to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), marking the first such expulsion in over two decades. A moment fraught with gravity unfolded as Speaker Mike Johnson wielded his gavel to formalize Santos’ removal, setting a precedent in congressional annals.
Santos, indicted on 23 counts related to wire fraud, identity theft, and other charges, has not faced conviction but stands accused of misusing campaign funds for opulent purchases. The bipartisan vote, tallying 311 to 114, signaled robust support for expulsion, with a marginally higher number of Republicans opting to retain Santos.
Questions loomed as Speaker Johnson left the chamber, his silence leaving the fate of the ongoing government spending battle uncertain. According to reports from Fox News, Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer emphasized the non-partisan nature of the decision, asserting that members concluded Santos had tarnished the House’s reputation and was unfit for representation.
Within the GOP, conflicting opinions emerged, with Rep. Darrell Issa arguing against expulsion, citing the presumption of innocence. The tight-lipped stance of the House Ethics Committee played a pivotal role in the deliberations.
Conversely, members of the New York Republican delegation, led by Rep. Marc Molinaro, asserted Santos’ commission of crimes, justifying expulsion based on a comprehensive investigation.
Santos himself predicted the outcome in an exclusive morning interview on “FOX & Friends.” This vote not only underlines the House’s rare use of expulsion powers but also sets a critical precedent in handling members facing severe legal challenges.
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