Jim Jordan’s subpoena of Bragg’s former assistants will proceed despite Bragg’s objections.
It’s difficult to argue a need for secrecy to protect ongoing legal proceedings when the guy being subpoenaed has literally written a book on the subject Bragg is trying to keep secret.
And that point played a role in the judge’s decision.
District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil said Pomerantz must appear for a deposition as the House panel investigates Bragg’s recent indictment of former President Donald Trump.
“The subpoena was issued with a ‘valid legislative purpose’ in connection with the ‘broad’ and ‘indispensable’ congressional power to ‘conduct investigations.’ It is not the role of the federal judiciary to dictate what legislation Congress may consider or how it should conduct its deliberations in that connection. Mr. Pomerantz must appear for the congressional deposition. No one is above the law,” Vyskocil wrote after hearing arguments in court on the matter earlier in the day.
“The Court is further unmoved by Bragg’s purported concern at the prospect of ‘inject[ing] partisan passions’ into a forum where they do not belong,” Vyskocil said. “By bringing this action, Bragg is engaging in precisely the type of political theater he claims to fear.”
In her ruling, Vyskocil ruled that the district attorney waived the right to privilege over any information in Pomerantz’s book because Bragg’s office didn’t take any legal action before or after the publication of “Inside Account.”
“While Bragg maintains that Pomerantz’s inappropriate disclosures cannot waive DANY’s privilege, such a claim is belied by DANY’s inaction in response to Pomerantz’s known plan to publish a book about DANY’s investigation into President Trump. If that information ever was protected from disclosure as attorney work product, the protection has been waived by DANY. Bragg concedes that he was aware of Pomerantz’s intention to publish the book before it was published,” the judge wrote. –CNN
The ruling did not take sides in the dispute between Bragg and Jordan whose conflict was described by the judge as the kind of ‘political dogfight’ that sometimes arises in disputes between different levels of government.
The judge operated on the presumption that both parties were operating in good faith, and the political motivations of either party were not a part of this ruling, but did not shy away from saying explicitly that there are ‘politics going on on both sides’.
In her ruling, Vyskocil said the committee and Jordan had in fact identified several valid legislative purposes underlying the subpoena.
“There can be no doubt that Congress may permissibly investigate the use of federal funds,” Vyskocil wrote, noting that counsel for Bragg’s office conceded that it used federal forfeiture funds in its investigation of Trump.
The judge also said the committee’s potential to draft legislation from their inquiry is a valid legislative purpose. — CNN
Bragg wants to appeal, but the ruling will not be paused while he tries to make that happen.
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