House Republicans have demanded testimony and documents from two former Manhattan prosecutors who had been leading a criminal investigation into Donald Trump before quitting last year in a clash over the direction of the probe.
Jim Jordan, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, sent letters to Mark Pomerantz and Carey Dunne as the party rallies around the former president.
They request transcribed interviews and a series of communications by March 27. A grand jury in New York is weighing whether or not to bring an indictment against Mr Trump.
The letters, obtained by The Associated Press, are part of a larger Republican-led congressional investigation into Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg as he is wrapping up a probe into whether Mr Trump engaged in an illegal hush money scheme involving a porn actor.
Writing in a letter to Mr Pomerantz, Mr Jordan said: “Last year, you resigned from the office over Bragg’s initial reluctance to move forward with charges, shaming Bragg in your resignation letter — which was subsequently leaked — into bringing charges.
“It now appears that your efforts to shame Bragg have worked as he is reportedly resurrecting a so-called ‘zombie’ case against President Trump using a tenuous and untested legal theory.”
Requests for comment from Mr Pomerantz and Mr Dunne were not immediately returned on Wednesday night.
The outreach to Mr Pomerantz and Mr Dunne comes days after Mr Jordan and two other Republican chairmen sent a letter to Mr Bragg, a Democrat, seeking information about his actions in Mr Trump’s case, which they characterised as an “unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority”.
They requested testimony as well as documents and copies of any communications with the Justice Department.
“No authorities wanted to take the case but then what changed? President Trump announces he’s running for president and shazam,” Mr Jordan told reporters on Monday.
By effectively demanding transparency in the middle of a criminal investigation, House Republicans are using the power of their new majority to defend Mr Trump — who is still seen as the leader of the party — as he mounts a second run for president.
The Manhattan grand jury appears close to finishing its work, after hearing last week from Mr Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, but the timing of a possible decision on whether to charge the ex-president remains uncertain.
Prosecutors cancelled a scheduled grand jury session on Wednesday and it was not clear if the panel would meet on Thursday.