Massie, other GOP lawmakers take aim at Bragg's targeting of Trump

 June 14, 2024

Republicans -- and even many fair-minded Democrats -- were outraged late last month when former President Donald Trump was convicted in a New York courtroom on highly controversial charges stemming from funds paid to adult entertainer Stormy Daniels.

Now, as WDVM reports, GOP lawmakers, including Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie, are speaking out about the hypocrisy they feel underlies the conviction secured by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and hoping to eventually obtain accountability for what they say was a blatant weaponization of the justice system.

Prosecution under fire

In a heated hearing this week House Judiciary Committee chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) -- together with Massie -- blasted Bragg's pursuit of Trump, taking issue with everything from the motivation behind the initial indictment to the manner in which the case was argued.

“Alvin Bragg's prosecution of President Trump was personal. It was based on politics. And it was wrong,” said Jordan.

Declaring the case “unprecedented,” the Ohio Republican asserted that Bragg wrongfully charged the alleged offenses as felonies, when they typically would have been classified as misdemeanors.

Leaving little room for doubt on where he stands, Jordan added, “That's the story. And that story is consistent with the facts.”

Massie highlights double standard at play

Also jumping into the fray, Massie made an apt comparison between Trump's supposed hush money payment to Daniels and a massive congressional fund regularly used in a similar manner on behalf of legislators.

According to Bragg's theory of the Trump case, Massie noted, disbursements made from that fund would also amount to campaign finance violations worthy of criminal prosecution.

“Congress has paid over $17 million in hush money for sexual misconduct inside the offices in these buildings. And what's more, is that it was taxpayer money,” Massie said. “[Bragg's] allegation is that President Trump paid $130,000 of his own money.”

Massie went on, “But here in Congress, there might be some here on this dais who had the taxpayer pay for their sexual misconduct charges. And I do know that not a single penny of it has been turned in as a campaign finance expense.”

While Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey -- among others -- has noted that conviction will likely be reversed on appeal after the presidential election as a result of due process violations, prosecutorial misconduct, and a host of other trial-level errors, Massie observed, “The irony here is that this trial was all about trying to influence the [2024] election," the same sort of conduct of which Bragg accused Trump in reference to the 2016 contest.

More scrutiny to come

The aforementioned congressional hearing will certainly not be the last time Bragg's unconventional -- and hotly debated -- case against Trump will be subjected to intense oversight scrutiny, as the D.A. is slated to testify before Jordan's Judiciary panel next month, as NBC News reports.

Almost immediately after the former president's conviction, Jordan summoned Bragg and Matthew Colangelo -- a former top DOJ official who took an effective demotion to join the New York prosecution team so he could aid in the Trump case -- to appear before the Judiciary panel, and after some back-and-forth about scheduling, their appearance has since been confirmed for July 12.

In a statement granting Jordan's request for testimony, Bragg's office accused the committee chairman of spreading “dangerous misinformation, baseless claims, and conspiracy theories” about the case, statements seemingly designed to stoke the flames of discord and set the stage for what is almost certain to be an explosive day on Capitol Hill.