Congressional Republicans are making up bogus excuses on Fox to pretend they have a right to interfere with NYC District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s likely criminal case against Donald Trump over hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Trump has not been indicted yet and no Republican knows what evidence a New York grand jury has considered nor what charges will be in any indictment, if there is one. But that’s not stopping the MAGA Republicans from acting otherwise in order to demand Bragg appear before Congress for an “investigation.”
Tuesday night, House Oversight Chair Rep. James Comer claimed on The Ingraham Angle that Bragg is “trying to prosecute” Trump “based on U.S. federal election law, something he clearly does not have the authority to do.”
FACT CHECK: The New York Times has reported that Bragg is likely to charge Trump with the New York crime of falsifying business records (for trying to make the hush money look like a legal expense). In reality, it’s Comer who lacks the authority.
Rep. Bryan Steil (R-WI) came up with another set of phony excuses yesterday on Fox News. “My priority is to make sure that everyone is treated equally in a court of law, and I think there’s a lot of questions being raised as to whether or not this engagement is partisan in nature,” he told host Neil Cavuto. Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, has already been convicted and gone to jail over this matter, so why does Steil think Trump should not get treated the same as Cohen? If we missed Steil or Comer so upset about Cohen’s case, let us know.
Steil also claimed he wants to know, “Are the federal funds intended for public safety being utilized in this investigation? Two, is [Bragg] coordinating with federal agencies, and in particular the United States Department of Justice, and three is he usurping federal powers as relates to enforcement of federal law in particular federal campaign finance violations which comes before my committee on House administration?” Steil gave no indication he had any information that any of that was the case.
Cavuto warned even some Republicans might think “this looks like you might be taking political sides in this and doing the bidding of President Trump.”
“This isn’t an argument on the facts of the case,” Steil insisted. “This is a question of whether or not there’s undue political influence, and in particular, directly related to a potential use of federal funds.” He said he wants to ask “questions that the American people deserve to know the answers to.”
Cavuto asked whether trying to disguise a hush payment is “a serious enough crime to warrant punishment.”
“It sure seems suspect on the outside looking in,” Steil claimed. But he continued to insist that his focus is “to determine whether or not, in particular, federal funds are being utilized by a partisan-elected district attorney in Manhattan to move forward a political agenda rather than utilizing those funds for the purpose of which they’re intended, which is to protect public safety.”
FACT CHECK: The DA is responsible for investigating and prosecuting all crimes in the borough of Manhattan, including white collar crime.
Cavuto agreed it might be “a partisan process,” (never mind that Trump’s claim he was extorted is an admission of guilt). But Cavuto also asked, “A payment like this or an issue like this would warrant attention from his office wouldn’t it?”
“A lot of people are concerned about whether or not this is an abuse of prosecutorial discretion,” Steil replied. “We need to be reminded that the United States Department of Justice looked into this, made a decision not to move forward.” He “forgot” to mention that the decision had nothing to do with whether or not Trump was guilty.
Cavuto asked Steil if he supports Trump calling for protests if he’s indicted.
Steil went into whataboutism mode. “There’s never a role for criminal behavior and violence. That’s as true as it was as criminals took to the streets in 2020, including in my home state of Wisconsin,” he said.
“And you’d have this view if this was a Democratic former president or present president being treated the same way?” Cavuto asked.
Steil dodged the question. “I remain incredibly concerned anytime we see partisan politics enter our judicial system,” he replied.
Joyce Vance, law professor and former US Attorney called Republicans’ attempted interference, “a purely political attack on local government.” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, called it “an extreme move to use the resources of Congress to interfere with a criminal investigation at the state and local level and block an indictment.”
But you can count on Fox News to continue to promote the GOP attacks on the rule of law.
You can watch Comer’s effort to interfere below, from the March 21, 2023 The Ingraham Angle. Underneath is Steil doing the same, from the March 22, 2023 Your World.
(image via screen grab)