GOP Rep Wants to Defund Manhattan District Attorney

( – Call it “Defund the Prosecution” — Republican House Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona put forward a bill on April 13th that would yank federal funds from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.

Biggs is accusing Manhattan’s DA, Alvin Braggs, of “lawlessness” and “political prosecution” because of Bragg’s indictment of former President Donald Trump on 34 felony charges related to campaign finances.

Bragg indicted Trump recently, claiming that Trump’s payment of $130,000 to former adult film actress Stormy Daniels violated the law. Trump paid the money to Daniels to buy her silence over her claim that the two had an extramarital affair in 2006.

Hush money payments are not illegal. But in a move that lawyers call novel and dubious, Bragg appears to be claiming that it was illegal in Trump’s case. His theory seems to be that, since buying Daniels’ silence was a benefit to Trump’s presidential campaign, the payment was, therefore, an illegal campaign contribution.

Even legal scholars are uncertain precisely how Bragg’s theory holds together.

Biggs introduced two bills. The first is called the Accountability for Lawless Violence In Our Neighborhoods Act (ALVIN Act). That bill would bar the Manhattan DA’s office from getting any future federal funding and would require the office to repay the federal government any federal money it received after January 1st, 2022.

The second bill, the No Federal Funds for Political Prosecutions Act would bar any state or local law enforcement agency from using any money that it got from “asset forfeiture” to prosecute a president, vice president, or presidential candidate.

“Civil asset forfeiture” is the practice of police and prosecutors seizing money, homes, cars, or property they believe was used in connection with a crime.

Biggs said Alvin Bragg campaigned for his job as district attorney by pledging to indict Trump. The prosecutor took “the unprecedented action” of turning allegations of petty business irregularities into multiple felony charges, Biggs said. 

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