Rep. Comer: DOJ should handle probe into Trump hush money payment

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's probe of former President Trump should instead be handled by the Department of Justice, House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) told CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday.

Driving the news: The Manhattan DA has been investigating a hush money payment allegedly made to adult film star Stormy Daniels, and reports have swirled that an indictment in the case could be imminent.

  • Comer argued that the case should be a federal investigation and that "if there was a reason for prosecution, it should be done by the Department of Justice on the federal level."
  • "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," Comer said.

State of play: When host Jake Tapper pointed out that Bragg was investigating violations of state crimes, Comer replied that the issue was "about politics" and that the Manhattan DA should be focused on fighting crime in New York.

  • The case could also "open a can of worms," Comer said, in which local district attorneys could try to "overreach" into federal election law.
  • "I don't believe that Bragg would be doing this if Donald Trump were not running for president," Comer added.

The big picture: Comer and Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) sent a letter last week to Bragg demanding that he testify before Congress and turn over any documents related to the Trump probe.

  • Bragg’s office rebuffed the request on Thursday.
  • The House Republicans' tactic has drawn a mixed response from Senate Republicans, many of whom see serious risks in second-guessing how local prosecutors pursue cases, Axios' Hans Nichols and Andrew Solender write.

Go deeper: Manhattan DA office won't "be intimidated" in Trump probe

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