Temporary delay granted in Manhattan D.A. effort to block congressional subpoena
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Hours before an ex-prosecutor was scheduled to appear before a House committee investigating the Manhattan prosecution of former President Donald Trump, a federal appeals court issued a stay that will delay the testimony.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Wednesday evening after a federal judge rejected his attempt to block a subpoena issued by the House Judiciary Committee to former prosecutor Mark Pomerantz.
The appeals court wrote Thursday that a three-judge panel will consider Bragg’s appeal of a Wednesday ruling by Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil, in which she concluded that she has no standing to block the subpoena. The committee and its Republican chairman, Rep. Jim Jordan, have aggressively confronted Bragg in the weeks since Trump was indicted in Manhattan.
Jordan and Trump have claimed Trump was charged as political retribution by Bragg, a Democrat. Trump entered a not guilty plea on April 4 to 34 felony counts of falsification of business records.
Pomerantz resigned from the Manhattan D.A.’s office in February 2022 after working on the Trump investigation for a year, and penned a memoir about the job. Matthew Berry, an attorney for the committee, said during a court hearing Wednesday that Pomerantz was subpoenaed as part of an effort to determine how much federal funding was used in the Manhattan probe, and if politics came into play during the investigation.
Pomerantz’s subpoena called for him to appear before the Committee at 10 a.m. Thursday, but the administrative stay granted by the appeals court will at least temporarily postpone that appearance.
The court wrote in its brief order that it “reflects no judgment regarding the merits of the parties’ respective positions.”
Bragg’s appeal was filed after Vyskocil ruled Wednesday that the “sole question before the Court at this time is whether Bragg has a legal basis to quash a congressional subpoena that was issued with a valid legislative purpose.”
“He does not,” Vyskocil wrote.
A spokesperson for the Judiciary Committee did not immediately return a request for comment.