Mark F. Pomerantz, a former prosecutor who as soon as led an investigation into Donald J. Trump, appeared earlier than the Republican-led Home Judiciary Committee on Friday for testimony, however declined to reply a lot of his questions concerning the former president’s prosecution reply expenses of falsifying enterprise information.
Mr. Pomerantz cited the confidentiality of the pending case and invoked various privileges, together with the proper in opposition to self-incrimination within the Fifth Modification, to keep away from answering the committee’s questions, the New York Occasions mentioned in a gap assertion. He mentioned he agreed to seem as a result of he respects the rule of regulation.
“What I don’t respect is using the subpoena powers of the committee to compel me to take part in an act of political theater,” Mr. Pomerantz added. “We’re gathered right here as a result of Donald Trump’s supporters want to use this continuing to try to hinder and undermine the felony course of in opposition to him and to harass, intimidate and discredit anybody investigating or prosecuting him.”
Mr. Pomerantz repeatedly referred to New York’s Privateness of Lively Investigations Act and mentioned he confronted potential prosecution for breach of the secrecy of grand jury proceedings if he answered sure questions.
“Though I’m sure that I’ve not damaged any legal guidelines, I’m beneath no obligation to reply questions if my solutions could possibly be used in opposition to me in a felony continuing,” he mentioned, including, “I take no pleasure in asking.” to invoke my authorized rights, however I’m glad the regulation permits me to not cooperate on this efficiency of political theatre.”
Forcing Mr. Pomerantz to seem was a victory for Republicans, who rushed to make use of their energy within the Home of Representatives to defend Mr. Trump because it turned clear that Alvin L. Bragg, the Manhattan District Lawyer, was poised to denounce the impeach former president.
Mr. Bragg, who has railed in opposition to Republicans’ efforts to intrude in his work, has filed a lawsuit to attempt to subpoena the Judiciary Committee — which is chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican and an in depth ally of Mr. Trump stop Mr. Pomerantz from being pressured to testify. However this try failed.
A consultant for Mr. Bragg appeared in Washington on Friday with Mr. Pomerantz.
“The prosecution joins testimony immediately and asserts our proper to object to the disclosure of proprietary confidential info,” a spokeswoman for Mr. Bragg mentioned in a press release.
A federal choose dominated final month that congressional Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, of their function as lawmakers, had the constitutional proper to query Mr. Pomerantz.
“It isn’t the job of the federal judiciary to dictate what laws Congress might think about or the way it ought to conduct its deliberations,” the choose wrote, including, “Mr. Pomerantz should seem for testimony earlier than Congress. No one is above the regulation.”
The Judiciary Committee quoted from that ruling on Twitter on Friday when Mr. Pomerantz was testifying.
Nonetheless, some Republicans expressed frustration at Mr. Pomerantz’s refusal to reply questions.
“He didn’t reply any questions,” Congressman Darrell Issa, a California Republican and member of the committee, advised reporters exterior of the assertion. “He has asserted, on behalf of the Lawyer’s Workplace and himself, what I might name ‘taking the Fifth’ – each time he takes the Fifth. I’ve by no means encountered a extra pushy and fewer cooperative witness in my 20+ years in Congress.”
Mr Trump is going through prosecution in New York for his function in a hush cash cost to grownup movie entertainer Stormy Daniels, who subsequently agreed to maintain quiet about her story of an affair with him.
The 34-count indictment alleges that he falsified enterprise information in reference to a cost made within the closing days of the 2016 presidential marketing campaign that would have served as an unlawful donation in direction of his candidacy. He has pleaded not responsible.
Jonah E. Bromwich contributed to the protection.