- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 19, 2023

ORLANDO, Fla. — Republicans plan to use their new investigative powers in the House majority to ramp up probes into the Biden family and liberal Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg amid reports that Mr. Bragg is on the verge of indicting former President Donald Trump on felony charges.

An aide to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, told The Washington Times on Sunday that Mr. Jordan’s panel on the weaponization of the federal government “is expected to respond” to Mr. Bragg’s plans to indict Mr. Trump with an investigation and possible hearings.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Sunday doubled down on a pledge that House Republicans, through the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, will investigate Mr. Bragg. Republicans suspect the liberal Democratic prosecutor is abusing the power of his office to politically target Mr. Trump, the party’s leading 2024 presidential candidate.

Mr. McCarthy said the House will examine the use of federal funds in Mr. Bragg’s office and to expect an announcement from the weaponization panel about the investigation on Monday.

News leaked last week that Mr. Trump is facing an indictment on felony charges from Mr. Bragg’s office relating to hush money he allegedly paid to adult performer Stormy Daniels seven years ago. Mr. Bragg elevated what would normally be a misdemeanor offense to a felony charge and is prosecuting the case past the five-year statute of limitations.

Mr. Trump has said he expects to be arrested as soon as Tuesday.

SEE ALSO: McCarthy calls on Trump supporters to stand down amid threat of former president’s arrest

“This is the type of thing America hates, and it divides America and it is wrong,” Mr. McCarthy said at an Orlando conference center where House Republicans are meeting this week to map out their agenda.

Mr. McCarthy, of California, accused Mr. Bragg of lowering penalties for serious criminals in crime-ridden New York while ramping up charges against his political opponents.

“It’s interesting to me he spent his whole time as a DA lowering felonies, not to prosecute,” Mr. McCarthy said. “I think Republicans and Democrats alike hate this type of justice.”

Mr. Bragg’s election to office was funded in part by Democratic megadonor George Soros, who has sought to elect liberal district attorneys aiming for overhauls of the criminal justice system.

Mr. McCarthy said House Republicans would wield their majority to check Mr. Bragg in the same manner they used it earlier this month to block a District of Columbia law that would have reduced penalties for serious crimes, including carjackings.

“Republicans stopped the radical D.C. crime law, and we will investigate any use of federal funds that are used to facilitate the perversion of justice by Soros-backed DA’s across the country,” Mr. McCarthy said Sunday.

House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer, Kentucky Republican, questioned the timing of a leak from Mr. Bragg’s office about the Trump case.

The indictment news leaked right after Mr. Comer revealed that he had obtained bank records showing Biden family members were involved in a business transaction with a Chinese company that paid them more than $1 million.

Mr. Comer called the DA’s targeting of Mr. Trump “an effort to detract” from the Biden/China probe, “but at the very least, it’s another example of a two-tiered system of justice.”

Mr. Comer said he believes nearly a dozen additional business deals were made between members of President Biden’s family and China, in addition to the business transaction involving the Chinese company that paid the Bidens over $1 million.

“This is one deal,” Mr. Comer told “Fox News Sunday Morning Futures.” “We have 11 more to go, and I’m pretty confident we’ll be getting more bank records in very soon.”

Mr. Bragg’s office has declined to speak publicly about whether an indictment or an arrest of the former president is, in fact, imminent.

Mr. Trump on Saturday cited leaked information from the Manhattan district attorney’s office signaling that he would be arrested in the coming days and called for his supporters to protest what he said is a politically driven indictment over alleged hush money payments in 2016.

The former president posted to Truth Social on Sunday evening that “the most important witness” in the case against him, a lawyer who represented Mr. Trump’s own former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, would testify Monday before the grand jury in New York City.

“The information he will present will supposedly be conclusive and irrefutable! Witch Hunt!,” Mr. Trump said on Truth Social.

House and Senate Republicans who have spoken out publicly about the looming indictment have denounced Mr. Bragg’s probe.

Sen. Rick Scott, Florida Republican, said he agreed with Mr. McCarthy’s call for House lawmakers to investigate Mr. Bragg.

“No federal dollars should be used to prop up this radical, Soros-backed activist attorney or his gross political attacks,” Mr. Scott said.

House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, Minnesota Republican, called the pending charge “outrageous” and an example of using the criminal justice system against a political adversary.

Mr. Trump received a standing ovation Saturday at the NCAA wrestling championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he appeared at the invitation of Republican Sen. Markwayne Mullin.

He waved to the crowd and held up his fist.

Back at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, a group of protesters gathered on the bridge leading to his estate.

In response to Mr. Trump’s call for protests, Mr. Bragg told staff in an internal memo that he will “not tolerate attempts to intimidate our office or threaten the rule of law in New York.”

Mr. McCarthy, when asked about Mr. Trump’s call for protests, said people should stick to educating the public about the subject and avoid violence. He said that is what the former president also meant when he called for his supporters to “protest, protest, protest” and “take our nation back” on his Truth Social media site.

“I don’t think people should protest this. No,” Mr. McCarthy said. “And if you talk to President Trump, he doesn’t believe this either.”

• Susan Ferrechio can be reached at sferrechio@washingtontimes.com.

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