FIRST ON FOX — Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is facing two lawsuits for his failure to comply with state Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests for information about his office’s possible communication with the Justice Department, White House and Democrat lawmakers relating to Bragg’s prosecution of former President Trump.
In March, Bragg indicted Trump on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, after a months-long investigation into the former president related to hush money payments made to during his 2016 presidential campaign.
Bragg is alleging that Trump falsified New York business records to “conceal damaging information and unlawful activity from American voters before and after the 2016 election.”
The Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based conservative think tank, has sued Bragg under suspicions that he and his office coordinated or communicated with the Justice Department, the White House and Rep. Daniel Goldman, D-N.Y., about the prosecution. In their lawsuit Heritage claims that such actions eventually led to investigations by several U.S. House committees into Bragg’s conduct.
“Regrettably, these questions have not been met with answers. These reports have raised concerns in many circles based in large part upon the longstanding history of President Trump’s political opponents coordinating their activities to systematically weaponize the criminal justice system against him and thereby pervert the course of Justice,” a filing for the first lawsuit read.
A separate lawsuit filed by Heritage alleges that Bragg and his team retained pro-bono assistance from major law firms that specialize in white-collar litigation. They are now asking the court to declare requested documents as “subject to release under the New York Freedom of Information Law,” declare that Bragg and his team provide said documents, and bar his team from “seeking seek costs and fees for the request at issue in this case.”
According to Heritage, Bragg and his team have largely stonewalled the group’s requests for communications between the suspected parties, which the group says they have a right to under New York’s FOIL laws.
Mike Howell, director of Heritage’s Oversight Project which serves as the group’s government watchdog arm, said they believe Bragg was “coordinating, or otherwise communicating” with Trump’s political opposition, and that “there’s reason to believe Bragg was a “prolific communicator” via cell phone.
“The fact we have to file a lawsuit against Bragg who says he can’t produce these records and says he doesn’t have the systems to do so, is proof-positive of another dual standard of justice at play in this country,” Howell said in an interview with Fox News Digital.
“You have a weaponized actor who’s going after the former president on a loony theory about his document retention, whereas the DA can’t even keep his own documents and it’s in violation of the information laws he is bound by,” he continued.
“He’s a hypocrite. He’s wasting an exorbitant amount of New York’s taxpayer’s dollars to defend this now and delay it and obstruct it when he could’ve just turned it over,” he said.
Bragg’s office did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.