July 16, 2024

Chaos broke out at the Judiciary Committee’s Manhattan crime hearing with protesters demanding to be let in and Chairman Jim Jordan having to tell the witness section to be quiet multiple times due to outbursts of applause during testimony. 

Pro- and anti-Jordan protesters clashed with police trying to keep them out of the hearing room, while the chairman knocked Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s crime policies. 

Meanwhile inside the committee room Jordan had to have multiple people removed from the witness section after chaotic outbursts where one protester shouted ‘Jim Jordan I love you!’ and ‘Ralph Nadler you are a disgrace!,’ referring to ranking member Jerry Nadler. 

‘In this country, justice is supposed to be blind regardless of race, religion, or creed. However, here in Manhattan the scales of justice are weighed down by politics,’ Jordan, R-Ohio, said in his opening statement.    

Nadler, a New Yorker himself, said in his opening statement that the hearing was just a way for Republicans to carry water for former President Trump. 

Pro- and anti-Jordan protesters clashed with police trying to keep them out of the hearing room, while the chairman knocked Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s crime policies

‘In this country, justice is supposed to be blind regardless of race, religion, or creed. However, here in Manhattan the scales of justice are weighed down by politics,’ Jordan, R-Ohio, said in his opening statement

Protesters demand to be let in to the hearing room

Bragg arrives at his office with heavy security as Jordan holds a hearing on his policies 

‘Let me be very clear, we are here for one reason and one reason only the chairman is doing the bidding of Donald Trump,’ said the Democrat. 

He called Jordan’s political plays since Bragg’s indictment of Trump an ‘outrageous abuse of power’ used to ‘perpetuate anti-semitic and racist tropes’ lobbed by Trump against Bragg and New York attorney general Letitia James, who is also investigating Trump’s finances.

‘It is – to use the chairmans’ favorite term -weaponization of the federal government.’ 

Witness Barry Borge said his son was beaten  ‘in broad daylight’ in 2021 in Times Square, ‘all because he was wearing a yarmulke going to a pro-Israel rally.’

Anti-semitic hate crimes have been on the rise in New York and around the country. 

He blamed Bragg for slow-walking the case and offering one of the attackers a ‘sweetheart’ deal and Nadler for not stepping in to advocate for his son.  

‘You’re a Jewish New Yorker,’ Borgen said in comments directed to Nadler. ‘I called your office numerous times. I called Mr. Schumer’s office, another Jewish New Yorker, numerous times.’ 

‘You have Jewish roots here, and behavior like this enables DA Bragg to just do whatever he wants to do. We wouldn’t vote for Mr. Schumer again. … And if I lived in Manhattan, I wouldn’t vote for you, either.’ 

Joseph Borgen, 29, whose father spoke at the Judiciary hearing, spoke to DailyMail.com one day after he was left bruised and battered by a group of pro-Palestinian men in Midtown Manhattan on Thursday 

Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, D-Pa., told the GOP witnesses who had loved ones who were victims of crime: ‘I’m so sorry for the impact that has had on you and your families. Anyone listening to has to be moved by what you’ve experienced … but I fear that victimized by this hearing, because this hearing is not going to provide that change. it’s not a serious effort to make our communities safer.’

‘My colleagues are here to protect someone who’s been charged with committing fraud,’ she added, referring to Trump. 

Ahead of the hearing Judiciary Democrats joined by Mayor Eric Adams held a press conference to push back on the narrative that New York City is unsafe. 

‘Welcome to the safest big city in America,’ the mayor said. 

‘We need to focus on how do we deal with the gun violence that is suffocating America, and let the DA do his job, which is the job that he’s doing.’ 

But Democrat city councilman Robert Holden voiced opposition to Bragg’s policies.  

Holden said he’d live through New York’s high crime era of the 1980s but ‘I have not seen the lawlessness like this in my life time.’

‘All the pharmacies are under lock and key,’ Holden said. ‘It’s so bad – these small crimes that Mr. Bragg has said he’s not gonna prosecute. My allegiance is not to the party it’s to my constituents.’ 

Other Democrats used the hearing to highlight Republican opposition to gun control. 

‘Gun violence is now the leading cause of death of children in America,’ said Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I.

‘Manhattan has the sixth fewest murders out of the top 50 cities in this country. So we all know why you’re here. So don’t play the political games,’ added Cicilline.’This is about the desire to earn the admiration of the former president.’

Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa., noted that so far this year 5,000 people have died by gun violence.  

Madeline Brame, chairwoman of the Victims Rights Reform Council and the mother of a homicide victim herself, told the committee that under Bragg ‘all types of criminal elements free to do what they want when they want, however they want to, whomever they want, with no consequences, no deterrence.’

She said federal funding should be pulled from the Manhattan DA office.  

‘They’re doing absolutely nothing. And I propose another not another dime of our federal tax dollars being pumped into these organizations until they can produce some measurable outcomes of effectiveness of what they’re doing with our tax to protect the public.’

Brame’s son, Army veteran Hason Correa, was fatally stabbed in Harlem in 2018.

Correa, a 35-year-old married father of three, was allegedly beaten and stabbed to death by a group of assailants in an altercation outside an apartment building. Two of Correa’s attackers struck a plea deal with Manhattan prosecutors and one has already been let off on time served. 

Pro-Trump protester demands to be let in to hearing 

‘Jim Jordan engages in a lot of political theatre in Washington. He should know better than to take his tired act to Broadway,’ said Rep. Jerry Nadler 

The man who stabbed Correa was given 20 years in prison. 

‘If you take a life you do life,’ Brame said, arguing even the stabber had not been sentenced appropriately. ‘There should be no plea deals for murder.’ 

‘They treated us like garbage,’ Brame said of Bragg’s office, adding the office had not informed her it would offer plea deals to the people involved in the murder. 

Democrat Rep. Dan Goldman, whose district includes the Javitz federal building where the hearing took place, told Republican anti-crime witnesses: ‘We don’t have jurisdiction to do anything about what you’re concerned about.’

Jose Alba also testified about the ‘horrible experience’ he had when Bragg originally charged him with murder when he stabbed a man who attacked him at the bodega where he worked. 

Bragg’s office asked a judge to drop the charges on July 19 after facing intense backlash for going after Alba, including from Mayor Eric Adams. 

‘I am not here because I’m supporting Republicans. I am not here because I want to criticize Democrats. I just want to tell the public about the horrible experience I had to go through because of crime in this city,’ he said. 

‘Even though the charges were ultimately dropped, they should not have been brought against me to begin with,’ Alba said through his attorney. ‘I am now traumatized from the incident. I am not working because I’m terrified for my life.’

Democrats brought in witnesses to point out that many crimes happen at a lower rate in New York City than elsewhere in the country. 

Jim Kessler, vice president of progressive think thank Third Way, noted under questioning from Nadler that New York’s murder rate is 18 percent lower than the national average. 

‘What we found when we looked at data between 2000 and 2020 Is the murder rate in red states, as defined by the 25 states that voted for Donald Trump in 2020 … the murder rate in red states, was higher than the murder rate in blue states, and all 21 of those years.’

‘If Republicans really wanted to stop violent crime, they would be in DC right now working with Democrats to pass common sense gun legislation,’ said Georgia Democrat Rep. Hank Johnson. 

Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, tore into Bragg for saying his office would not prosecute the crime of resisting arrest. To Bragg, he said: ‘You’re a disgrace. You’re a danger to this country.’

Crime in New York City ticked up in 2020 and 2021 during the pandemic (before Bragg took office) after a decade-long mostly downward trend. Major crime soared about 22 percent in 2022 – with Bragg taking office on the first day of that year.

New York recorded 438 homicides in 2022 — up from 319 in pre-pandemic 2019. 

From April 2022 to April 2023, major crime remains about the same, though murders, shootings and burglaries have dropped. 

The city was far safer even in 2022 than it was during a dangerous period in the 80s and 90s — murders and robberies were down 80 percent in 2022 compared to 1990, rapes down 50 percent. 

From the start of 2022 when he took office to November of this year, Bragg downgraded 52 percent of felony cases to misdemeanors. When he did bring forth a case, his office won a conviction just 51 percent of the time – a low figure compared to the district attorney’s office in recent years. 

The Judiciary Committee, together with Oversight and Administration, have launched all-out political war against Bragg over the indictment, most recently firing off a subpoena to prosecutor Mark Pomerantz, who formerly worked in Bragg’s office and wrote a book about the need to prosecute Trump. 

Madeline Brame, above, will testify at the Judiciary Committee’s NYC hearing on Monday. Her son was fatally stabbed in 2018 

Hason Correa, a US Army veteran, was fatally stabbed in Harlem in 2018 and two of his assailants got a plea deal with a light sentencing 10993537

Alba shows DailyMail.com the wounds he suffered in the attack 

On Tuesday Bragg sued Jordan in an extraordinary move to try to keep him from interfering in the criminal case against Trump. 

The suit accused Jordan of a ‘brazen and unconstitutional attack’ on the prosecution of Trump after the committee subpoenaed Bragg’s former employee, demanded documents and planned a field hearing in New York. 

Lawyers for Bragg seek to prevent Jordan’s subpoena of Pomerantz. 

Pomerantz tried to persuade the DA he should prosecute Trump – but quit when Bragg rejected his legal theories.

Bragg has refused to comply with documents requests from chairs of the three committees relating to Bragg’s communications with the Department of Justice. Bragg has described Republicans’ interference as improper interference in a criminal case. 

The charges against Trump were revealed last week and included 34 counts of falsifying business records related to a $130,000 hush money payment to Stormy Daniels and ‘catch and kill’ payments through the National Enquirer to Playboy model Karen McDougal and a doorman who purported to have a story on Trump’s alleged love child with a housekeeper.