Linking Biden to Trump’s conviction in New York is unjustifiable

Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Matthew Colangelo — who has long been the focus of Trump’s ire, both before and after Judge Juan Merchan issued a gag order — is a longtime public servant and civil litigator.

But his less than two-year tenure at the DOJ earlier this year Biden administration and its subsequent move to Alvin BraggThe office became the sole basis for what Justice Department leaders called “conspiracy speculation” – largely fueled by Trump himself – that Biden orchestrated Trump’s conviction in Manhattan. Republican leaders in the House of Representatives are so taken with this narrative that Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan asked Bragg and Colangelo to testify before Congress, and they agreed to testify. July 12 (the day After Trump’s conviction). But even before this hearing, 80% of registered GOP voters Already believe this story, according to the CBS News/YouGov poll released Monday.

And the idea that Biden is pulling Bragg’s strings, with or without Colangelo, is both blatantly false and perniciously racist.

After Biden’s inauguration, Colangelo — like dozens of other experienced attorneys — served as a surrogate for the political candidate he would ultimately serve as his congressman. Specifically, he was temporarily acting deputy attorney general, and after Vanita Gupta was confirmed, he was his principal deputy until his departure from the Justice Department in early December 2022.

Court sketch of prosecutor Matthew Colangelo (Jane Rosenberg / Reuters)

The idea that Colangelo moved closer to criminal law is both bizarre and unfounded. For what? The very nature of the Assistant Attorney General’s job is to supervise all civil and certain political/community units of DOJ (e.g., Office of Violence Against Women, Office of Access to Justice, the COPS program), but not criminals, such as an organizational chart of the Ministry of Justice reflects. Indeed, a letter sent Monday to Jordan by the ministry’s Office of Legislative Affairs reinforces the fact that Colangelo’s work was to “supervise the elements of civil litigation who report to the partner [Attorney General’s] office.” Simply put, he had no oversight over the work of the criminal or national security divisions.

In fact, Colangelo operated so far from the DOJ’s criminal work that a colleague recalls his exclusion from conversations about the Trump investigations and therefore believes that Colangelo did not even have “indirect knowledge” of the Trump investigations or prosecutions, in outside of what was known to the public. Anthony Coley, who was Attorney General Merrick Garland’s chief spokesperson until early 2023, attended the AG’s daily senior staff meeting each day alongside about seven others, including Colangelo. Coley recalls that every time he informed Garland in the press about the various criminal investigations of Trump, Gupta and Colangelo Left the room. (Coley pointed out that such conversations stopped taking place after special events…

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