(CBrief) – Republican Kentucky Rep. James Comer lit into CNN anchor Jake Tapper as he attempted to paint him into a corner regarding the possible impending indictment of former President Donald Trump.
It happened on Sunday when Rep. Comer appeared on the CNN show “State of The Union.”
“You just wrote a new letter to Manhattan DA Bragg defending your decision to investigate his office, saying that you’re considering taking legislative action to prevent presidents from — quote – ‘politically motivated prosecutions.’
“As of right now, of course, Trump has not been charged with anything. What do you say to Bragg, who says you’re trying to stop a charge from happening even before you know of any evidence?” the host said.
“Well, what the DA is trying to say is what you just quoted. He said, stay out of local investigations,” the representative said.
“The problem with that is, this is not a local investigation. This is a federal investigation. He’s investigating a presidential candidate, not to mention former president of the United States, for a federal election crime.
“That has no business being litigated in a local district attorney’s office,” he said.
“And when he says he’s not going to cooperate with Congress, unfortunately for Mr. Bragg, he doesn’t have the luxury of determining whether or not he can comply with congressional requests, because he crossed over two levels of government from the local level to the federal level to try to prosecute something that, clearly, if there was a reason for prosecution, it should be done by the Department of Justice on the federal level,” he said.
“Well, he’s investigating, as I understand it, potential violations of state crimes,” the host rebutted.
“Even at that, look, let’s just be honest here,” the representative said.
“I mean, this is about politics. This is a presidential candidate. When you look at what we believe the role of the Manhattan DA should be is to fight crime. I mean, that’s one of the biggest issues in New York. We saw that in the midterm elections last November,” he said.
“Voters overwhelmingly rejected many Democrat candidates because of the crime issue. We have a crime crisis in many of our cities. And we’re trying to do something about that in the House of Representatives. And one of the reasons we believe we have high crime rates in certain parts of America is because we have prosecutors that are soft on crime,” he said.
“And we believe that our tax dollars — and that’s where I come in with the House Oversight — we believe tax dollars would be better spent prosecuting local criminals. That’s what a DA is supposed to do.
“Are you arguing that people who commit business crimes are not committing crimes?” the anchor said.
“Look, well, is this a business crime? We’re talking about a federal election crime here, Jake. This is a federal election crime,” the representative hit back.
“The Manhattan DA does not write federal electoral law,” he said. “Congress writes federal election law,” he said.
“My understanding is that he’s being investigated for falsifying business records. It’s — there was a related prosecution. Michael Cohen went to prison. That was a federal investigation from the U.S. attorney during the Trump years,” the host said.
“But that U.S. attorney, Mr. Berman, prosecuted — and Mr. Khuzami — prosecuted Michael Cohen. He went to prison for the that, as well as related crimes. I don’t remember hearing anything from you during that period. I guess he wasn’t a candidate, but he had been working for Donald Trump,” he said.
“That was a U.S. attorney that prosecuted,” the representative said. “We’re talking about a local attorney.”
“And the problem — and, look, if you open a can of worms here, here’s what’s going to happen. You’re going to have county attorneys in red areas, in parts of Kentucky, rural Kentucky, where I am, that are going to start trying to overreach into the federal election law,” he said.
“This is something that, if it needs to be investigated or prosecuted, it should be done on the federal level by the Department of Justice. This is a presidential candidate. One frustration Republicans have in Congress is that we keep having interference in our elections. I know that the Democrats complained about that, rightfully so, when James Comey just a few weeks or a few days before the presidential election in 2016 said that Hillary was being investigated for mishandling e- mails.,” the representative said.
“Look, that shouldn’t have happened. That shouldn’t have happened. And we keep having stuff like this happen in our elections. We just want the government out of our elections. We don’t believe tax dollars should be spent for this. We believe this is a political stunt by Mr. Bragg. We believe the statute of limitations has expired on all of this stuff,” he said.
“Clearly, if there’s something that rises to criminal level, then — then that should be done on the federal level,” he said.
“He hasn’t — I mean, you keep asserting what this investigation is. And we haven’t seen an indictment. We haven’t seen charges. We haven’t seen evidence,” the host said. “What if district attorney Bragg comes forward with an indictment with evidence and proof that Donald Trump did commit these crimes. You still think he shouldn’t be charged?”
“Well, we believe that he should come explain to us exactly what he’s investigating, because, at the end of the day, this is a presidential candidate,” the representative said.
James Comer schooling Jake Tapper. pic.twitter.com/EDQiWIvdIA
— Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) March 26, 2023