DOJ Destroys GOP Conspiracy That Controlled New York Trial

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks during a press conference at the Department of Justice building on March 21, 2024 in Washington, DC.

Anna Geldmaker | Getty Images

The Justice Department has accused Republicans in the House of Representatives of spreading the “completely baseless” claim that the federal agency was behind the New York hush-money lawsuit against former President Donald Trump.

“The conspiracy theory that the recent jury verdict in New York State Court was somehow controlled by the Department is not only false, it is irresponsible,” Assistant Attorney General Carlos Uriarte told Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary, R-Ohio. in a letter obtained by CNBC.

The fiery response to the high-ranking lawmaker was just one in a multi-pronged effort by the DOJ to refute conspiracies surrounding Trump's historic conviction by a Manhattan Supreme Court jury on 34 counts of falsifying corporate records.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee is actively fueling claims that his rival, President Joe Biden, directed the case at the state level, as well as the dozens of other criminal charges he faces in three separate courts.

But Uriarte said there is no evidence showing any coordination between the federal government and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who brought the hush money case against Trump.

The DOJ conducted a “comprehensive” search for communications between its leadership and the Manhattan district attorney's office regarding any investigation or prosecution of Trump from Jan. 20, 2021, until his May 30 sentencing in New York, Uriarte said.

“We didn't find any,” Uriarte said. “This is not surprising.”

“The district attorney's office is a separate entity from the department. “The department does not supervise the work of the district attorney’s office, approve its charging decisions, or process its cases,” he said. “The ministry has no control over the prosecutor, just as the prosecutor has no control over the ministry.”

The judicial panel “knows this,” Uriarte added.

More news about Donald Trump

Jordan had requested information in an April 30 letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland about a former DOJ official, Matthew Colangelo, who was asked to help lead Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's prosecution of Trump in the hush money case .

Jordan said Colangelo's involvement in the case “only adds to the perception that Biden's Justice Department is politicized and weaponized.”

But Uriarte responded that Colangelo's email account showed no communications with the district attorney's office during his tenure at the Justice Department.

“The committee's self-justifying 'perception' is completely unfounded, yet the committee continues to spread it widely,” he wrote.

“Our extraordinary efforts to respond to your speculation should put this to rest.”

Spokespeople for Jordan and Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., a prominent member of the judicial panel, did not immediately respond to CNBC's requests for comment on Uriarte's letter.

Read more CNBC political coverage

Garland has also tried to push back on the conspiracies, which he says have helped create an environment in which the DOJ is “under attack like never before.”

The attacks involve “conspiracy theories devised and disseminated for the purpose of undermining public confidence in the judicial process itself,” Garland said in a statement. Washington Post op-ed published on Tuesday.

“These include false claims that a case was filed by a local district attorney and resolved by jury verdict in a state trial was somehow controlled by the Department of Justice.”

The op-ed echoed what Garland told members of the judiciary face-to-face during a recent hearing: that the false conspiracy allegations about the Trump trial are “an attack on the judicial process itself.”

A Punchbowl News reporter said Tuesday morning that Bragg and Colangelo would testify before the judicial panel on July 12.

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