WASHINGTON (AP) — An ex-prosecutor who once oversaw Manhattan’s yearslong investigation of former President Donald Trump repeatedly declined to substantively answer questions at a closed-door meeting Friday of the House Judiciary Committee, according to a Republican lawmaker in the meeting.
Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican, exited the meeting and said Mark Pomerantz, the former prosecutor, repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment that protects people from providing self-incriminating testimony.
Pomerantz, who left Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office after disagreements over the direction of the case, was subpoenaed by the Republican-controlled House committee. The panel, chaired by GOP Rep. Jim Jordan, is probing how Bragg handled Trump’s historic indictment.
Bragg had sued to halt Jordan’s subpoena of Pomerantz, but last month agreed to Pomerantz’s testify after a delay and a condition that lawyers from the prosecutor’s office be present. The committee has said it would have allowed the district attorney’s lawyers even without the agreement.
Republicans have defended Trump as he faces 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in a scheme to bury allegations of extramarital affairs that arose during his 2016 White House campaign. GOP lawmakers have decried Bragg’s investigation as a “political persecution.”
Judiciary Committee lawmakers said little as they entered the room where Pomerantz testified.
When Rep. Issa was asked by reporters what he would ask Pomerantz, he said, “Everything.”
Pomerantz is allowed to refuse to answer certain questions that touch on legal privilege and ethical obligations, but Jordan can also rule on those assertions on a case-by-case basis.
Pomerantz recently wrote a book about his work pursuing Trump and discussed the investigation in interviews on “60 Minutes” and other shows.