Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee spent Monday’s Manhattan field hearing blaming guns, not the criminals behind them, for the nation’s crime epidemic.
The committee held a field hearing in Manhattan as New York City deteriorates from an American centerpiece of capital ingenuity into a treacherous urban jungle where far-left prosecutors allow criminals to control the streets.
“Today’s hearing is about the administration of justice, and keeping communities safe, something that has always been a central focus of the House Judiciary Committee,” opened House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan.
The Ohio Republican went on to condemn Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg for prioritizing political witch hunts over street safety. Bragg’s office unsealed the first indictment of a former president this month with 34 charges against Donald Trump related to 2016 hush-money payments to a porn actress.
“Rather than enforcing the law, the [Manhattan] DA is using his office to do the bidding of left-wing campaign funders,” Jordan said, outlining the crime statistics that plague Bragg’s New York City constituents. Major crime spiked 22 percent under Bragg’s first year in office, including a 30 percent rise in subway crime, according to the New York Times. The paper reported Saturday that less than 330 people were responsible for almost a third of all shoplifting arrests last year.
“You leave more criminals on the street, you get more crime,” Jordan said.
Democrats countered by scapegoating guns and declared the hearing politically motivated, given the Manhattan DA’s prosecution of the former president.
“It is shameful that the Republicans of this committee would use the pretext of violent crime to play tourist in New York and bully the district attorney,” said New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, the Democrats’ ranking member. “It is particularly disgraceful that they would use this pretext after doing nothing, nothing to stop gun the gun violence that terrorizes our nation.”
Nadler called on lawmakers to “stem the iron pipeline” in reference to “the illicit flow of illegal firearms from states that do less to protect their citizens to New York and elsewhere.” Nadler also argued to move the committee’s hearing to Jordan’s home state of Ohio with claims that red states, not blue states, are at the center of the nation’s crime wave. Local officials responsible for the nation’s unsafe streets, however, are Democrats.
Nearly every Democrat on the committee followed suit and went after guns when it was their turn for questioning to a panel of witnesses victimized by criminals who used knives to rob and kill.
Among the witnesses who testified include Madeline Brame, whose veteran son was fatally stabbed nine times in 2018 and Jose Alba, a bodega owner whom Bragg charged with second-degree murder after fending off a violent robber in self-defense. Alba was stabbed by the assailant’s alleged girlfriend as he was forced to defend himself.
Brame told lawmakers Bragg’s office dismissed her pleas to prosecute those responsible for the murder of her son and treated her like “garbage.” Alba, whose charges were ultimately dropped amid public outrage, re-told the story of Bragg sending the bodega owner to Riker’s Island for nearly a week after the incident.
“I still don’t know why I was charged with murder,” Alba said, speaking through an interpreter. “Even though the charges were dropped, they should not have been brought against me to begin with. I’m now traumatized from the incident. I am not working because I am terrified for my life that someone in a gang will come after me for revenge.”
New York Democrat Congressman Daniel Goodman called the proceedings a “charade” to protect Trump. The remark provoked an interruption from Brame.
“Don’t insult my intelligence,” Brame said. “This is why I walked away from the plantation of the Democratic Party.”
New York Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, who chairs the House Republican Conference, highlighted how it’s Democrats who obsessed over Trump at the hearing on crime.
“In addition to House Democrats belittling the victims here today, Democrats have politicized this hearing, mentioning Donald Trump 38 times. That number for Republicans is zero,” she said.
Several Democrats at Monday’s hearings stood on graves of children gunned down in schools that lacked proper security to demand stricter gun control.
“When Senate Republicans were finally motivated to action by the horrific slaughter of babies in Uvalde, did my Republican colleagues here join? No, not a single one of them voted for the bipartisan Safer Communities Act,” said Pennsylvania Congresswoman Madeleine Dean.
Bary Borgen, whose son was beaten in Times Square two years ago in an anti-Semitic attack, responded to the congresswoman by asking the obvious.
“Why isn’t anybody blaming the shooter?” Borgen said. “You’re blaming guns, no one blames the shooter.”
Borgen also blasted Nadler at the hearing for being dismissive of demands that his son’s perpetrators be given a fair sentence.
“You’re a Jewish New Yorker,” Borgen said to Nadler. “I called your office numerous times. I called Mr. Schumer’s office, another Jewish New Yorker, numerous times.”
“No one called us back,” Borgen added. “Neither one of you came out with a statement on my son’s incident, okay? You’re a Jewish New Yorker. You have Jewish roots here.”
Runaway crime in New York has proven to be a key liability for the state’s Democrat lawmakers. Republicans flipped four congressional districts in New York where crime was the prime issue, including a seat held by the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Sean Patrick Maloney, during last fall’s midterms in a lackluster year.