Categories
Audio Sources - Full Text Articles

Ex-prosecutor in New York Trump probe to testify in congressional deposition

2023-04-20T10:58:56Z

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S., April 14, 2023. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein/File Photo

Mark Pomerantz, the former prosecutor who once led the Manhattan district attorney’s criminal inquiry into the business practices of ex-president Donald Trump, is set to appear for a deposition before a Republican-led congressional committee on Thursday.

The testimony will come after U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil on Wednesday denied Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s request to block a subpoena to Pomerantz from Republican Representative Jim Jordan, who chairs the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.

Vyskocil, who was nominated by Trump in 2018 and then again in 2019 before being confirmed to the federal bench that year, ruled that Jordan had established a “valid legislative purpose” in seeking Pomerantz’s testimony.

The subpoena came from the House Judiciary Committee, and the closed-door deposition is scheduled for 10 a.m. EST (1400 GMT) at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington.

A lawyer for Bragg, a Democrat who got Trump indicted by a grand jury – the first criminal charges against a former president – argued in court on Wednesday that Jordan was trying to interfere in a local prosecution and “intimidate” the district attorney’s office in retaliation for its charges against Trump.

Trump, the Republican front-runner in the 2024 presidential campaign, pleaded not guilty on April 4 to 34 felony charges over a hush money payment made before the 2016 election to porn star Stormy Daniels, to prevent her from discussing a sexual encounter she said they had. He denies the liaison took place.

But Jordan’s lawyer countered that the committee needed Pomerantz’s testimony to weigh legislation restricting what he called “politically motivated prosecutions” of presidents.

Vyskocil said during the hearing that Pomerantz was in a “tricky situation” because his ethical obligation to protect confidential information from his time at the district attorney’s office might preclude him from answering the committee’s questions.

But in her written ruling, she said he would be free to object and decline to answer questions if appropriate.