(NEW YORK) — House Republicans are setting up camp in New York City to hold a hearing on local crime, a move Democrats have lambasted as a “political stunt.”
The House Judiciary Committee, led by Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, will gather on Monday at the Jacob Javits Federal Building — just around the block from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who earlier this month brought up former President Donald Trump on a 34-count indictment.
There, the committee said, lawmakers will hear from witnesses on how “Bragg’s pro-crime, anti-victim policies have led to an increase in violent crime and a dangerous community for New York City residents.”
Among the announced witnesses are Jose Alba, a former bodega clerk who faced a murder charge after fatally stabbing an attacker in 2022; Joseph Borgen, the victim of an antisemitic attack in Times Square; as well as Madeline Brame and Jennifer Harrison, two women impacted by violent crime who’ve become advocates for victims rights in New York. Harrison recently told Fox News that crime victims are “distraught” over Bragg’s leadership.
Robert Holden, a Democratic New York City councilman, and Paul DiGiacomo, the president of the New York City’s Detectives’ Endowment Association, are also set to appear before the committee.
Bragg’s record as district attorney is a frequent target of Republicans, but the issue intensified in recent weeks over his prosecution of Trump. Jordan in particular has emerged as one of Bragg’s biggest foes on Capitol Hill as he leads a congressional probe into Bragg’s investigation of Trump.
Tensions boiled over last week when Bragg suedJordan for what he called an “unprecedentedly brazen and unconstitutional attack by members of Congress.”
The House Judiciary Committee’s hearing has prompted fierce debate over crime in Democratic and Republican areas, with each side pointing to various statistics to make its case.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams, during a recent press conference, said the House GOP’s field hearing made “no sense.”
“I’m a little disappointed that they’re coming here complaining about crime here when per capita, their crime is through the roof,” Adams said.
“Don’t be fooled, the House GOP is coming to the safest big city in America for a political stunt,” a spokesperson for Bragg’s office quickly fired back after the hearing was announced.
Bragg’s office also took aim at Jordan specifically, pointing to one analysis which found the murder rate in New York City is lower than that of Columbus, Ohio.
Jordan responded on Twitter, “If New York City is the ‘safest big city in America,’ then why are so many people leaving?”
While New York County had a population decline of 98,505 in 2021 mostly attributable to net domestic outmigration, the county — home to Manhattan — had population growth of 17,472 in 2022, according to data released last month by the United States Census Bureau.
The GOP caucus of the House Judiciary Committee pointed to a website that provides neighborhood statistics called NeighborhoodScout.com, which showed that the violent crime rate for Manhattan was 5.21 per 1,000 residents, compared to 4.26 for Mansfield — though both cities had higher rates than most U.S. cities.
The New York Police Department recently announced violent crime decreased during the first three months of this year, with shootings falling by 23% and homicides falling by 12.7% in the first quarter compared to the same period last year.
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