‘Top Priority’: House GOP Leadership Puts Alvin Bragg in Crosshairs

Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg (D.) / Getty Images
March 20, 2023

ORLANDO, Fla.—House Republican leadership says it will use "every tool" at its disposal to compel Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg to testify to Congress, calling his expected indictment of former president Donald Trump the epitome of political weaponization of power.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R., N.Y.), who chairs the Republican conference, said getting Bragg on the witness stand is the "top priority" for House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee’s weaponization subcommittee.

"We need to have Alvin Bragg testify," Stefanik told the Washington Free Beacon in a wide-ranging interview Monday morning. "This skyrockets as a top priority because it epitomizes at the highest level the political weaponization, literally against Joe Biden’s leading opponent, and it’s a form of meddling in the presidential elections."

House Republicans, convening in Florida for their annual issues conference, are united in their response to a potential indictment of Trump, which the former president said he expects to come on Tuesday. Stefanik’s comments came as three House committee chairmen, Reps. Bryan Steil (R., Wis.), Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), and James Comer (R., Ky.), sent a letter to Bragg Monday morning demanding all communications relating to the alleged decision to arrest Trump and called on him to testify.

House majority leader Steve Scalise (La.) echoed those demands in an interview with the Free Beacon from the conference. Scalise said subpoenas are one of the various tools House Republicans are ready to use, citing other ongoing investigations such as the one into Hunter Biden’s finances and the Department of Justice’s monitoring of school board meetings.

"Sadly there have been so many agencies, both federal and local, behaving like this," Scalise said. "You see people abusing their position of government power to go after political enemies."

Republicans point to Bragg’s tenure as district attorney as evidence that his office’s treatment of Trump is nakedly political. Since he took office in 2022, felony indictments have plummeted in New York City.

"You don’t get more far-left radical than Alvin Bragg, who was funded by over a million dollars by George Soros," Stefanik said, a line repeated by several Republican lawmakers. "He’s one of the reasons why we have a crime crisis in New York."

There will likely be multiple avenues into the Bragg probe. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) said the House would probe whether any federal funds were used in Bragg’s investigation of Trump. "That’s what I’m concerned about," McCarthy said at a Sunday press conference. "That’s why I have to investigate."

While Stefanik said "every tool" was on the table to get information from Bragg, she said the decision on whether to issue subpoenas would be made by Jordan, who chairs both the judiciary and weaponization committees.

A spokesman for Jordan reiterated to the Free Beacon that "everything is on the table" when it comes to Bragg. Jordan in his short tenure as head of the newly formed weaponization committee hasn’t shied away from using subpoenas for other investigations.

McCarthy said, however, that Bragg’s actions would not influence how Republicans conduct their own investigations, such as those of the Biden family.

"We don’t play politics," McCarthy told the Free Beacon.