Judicial Watch announced today that it received the engagement letter showing New York County District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg paid $900 per hour for partners and $500 per hour for associates to the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher law firm for the purpose of suing Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) in an effort to shut down the House Judiciary Committee’s oversight investigation into Bragg’s unprecedented indictment of former President Donald Trump.
Judicial Watch obtained the agreement as the result of an April 11, 2023, Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request followed by an appeal for records of agreements between Alvin L. Bragg or the New York County District Attorney’s Office and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP for work related to Bragg v. Jordan, Case No. 23-3032 filed in the U.S District Court for the Southern District of New York on or about April 11, 2023.
The letter welcomes “the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office (“the DA”) as a client of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP … You are retaining us to provide legal services to the DA in connection with a congressional investigation, potential litigation, and related matters regarding the DA’s investigation of Donald Trump (the “Matter”).”
Initially redacted in its first production of records, the “professional fees” section states: “For this matter we have agreed on the following hourly rates for our attorneys: $900 per hour for partners, and $500 per hour for associates. These rates will remain the same for the life of the matter.”
The House Judiciary Committee on March 20 sent a letter to Bragg, demanding records related to the “unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority: the indictment of a former President of the United States and current declared candidate for that office:”
The New York County District Attorney’s Office has been investigating President Trump since at least 2018, looking for some legal theory on which to bring charges. The facts surrounding the impending indictment have “been known for years.” Michael Cohen, President Trump’s disgraced former lawyer, pleaded guilty over four years ago to charges based on the same facts at issue in the impending indictment. By July 2019, however, federal prosecutors determined that no additional people would be charged alongside Cohen. Now, in the words of one legal scholar, you are attempting to “shoehorn” the same case with identical facts into a new prosecution, resurrecting a so-called “zombie” case against President Trump. Even the Washington Post quoted “legal experts” as calling your actions “unusual” because “prosecutors have repeatedly examined the long-established details but decided not to pursue charges.”
In addition to the novel and untested legal theory, your star witness for this prosecution has a serious credibility problem—a problem that you have reportedly recognized. This case relies heavily on the testimony of Michael Cohen, a convicted perjurer with a demonstrable prejudice against President Trump. Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 2018. In 2019, when he testified before Democrats on the House Oversight Committee to aid their fruitless investigation into President Trump, Cohen lied again—six times. Cohen has been vocal about his deeply personal animus toward President Trump. Under these circumstances, there is no scenario in which Cohen could fairly be considered an unbiased and credible witness.
On April 4 Bragg announced a felony indictment of former President Donald Trump.
The Judiciary Committee on April 6 issued a subpoena, compelling the testimony of former New York County Special Assistant District Attorney Mark Pomerantz, who resigned from office the previous year because Bragg was reluctant to pursue charges against Trump. The committee in March had written Pomerantz a letter stating that his “efforts to shame Bragg have worked as he is reportedly resurrecting a so-called ‘zombie’ case against President Trump using a tenuous and untested legal theory.”
On April 11, Bragg filed a lawsuit against Jordan to block his alleged “interference” and “obstruction” of the investigation of former President Donald Trump in New York.
On April 19, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a decision denying Bragg’s requested temporary restraining order. The House Judiciary Committee subsequently issued a statement: “Today’s decision shows that Congress has the ability to conduct oversight and issue subpoenas to people like Mark Pomerantz, and we look forward to his deposition before the Judiciary Committee.”
“Bragg’s unjustified, malicious prosecution is not only corrupt but it’s also a waste of taxpayer funds as he tries to thwart a legitimate House investigation into his attempt to interfere in the 2024 election,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “Rather than spending $900 per hour on lawyers to defend his abuse of office and political jihad against Trump, Bragg should focus on taking dangerous criminals off the streets of New York.”