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FACT SHEET: House Republicans Retaliate Against Trump’s Conviction With Stunt Hearing Featuring Partisan Witnesses

Jun 13, 2024

This week, House Republicans in the Judiciary Committee are holding a hearing attacking the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in retaliation for Trump’s criminal conviction on 34 state felony counts by a jury of his peers. The witness roster includes a Trump-appointed FEC commissioner, a right-wing legal scholar with no experience practicing New York state law, and a midwestern Republican state attorney general who has used his position to interfere in Trump’s criminal proceedings for months.

Throughout the various criminal proceedings against Trump, House Republicans have abused their congressional oversight powers to interfere with investigations and attack President Biden. Jim Jordan and his committee have spent over a year holding political stunt hearings and sent over a dozen letters to the officials involved in prosecuting the former President, accusing all of them of political bias and threatening to take Congressional action to interfere. 

This bizarre MAGA slate, composed of out-of-state election deniers, Trump donors, and repeat witnesses, offers absolutely no insight into the circumstances surrounding Trump’s trial. Instead of pursuing actual oversight or addressing the issues Americans actually care about, like the cost of living, border security, and access to health care, House Republicans are focused on stunt hearings featuring partisan witnesses.


Trey Trainor

FEC Commissioner

Trainor Is A Trump-Appointed GOP Insider and Longtime Republican Donor. Trainor has served in numerous high-profile positions for Republican campaigns and administrations. He briefly worked for the Trump campaign, and in 2017, he was named assistant general counsel to the Texas GOP, then general counsel to the Secretary of State of Texas. Trainor later joined the Trump administration as a special assistant to the Secretary of Defense. In 2018, Trainor was nominated for a seat on the Federal Election Commission by Trump, and he was finally confirmed in May 2020. Trainor is also a longtime GOP donor, contributing over $1,200 to Republican candidates since 2008, including Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). 

Trainor Has Stymied FEC Investigations Into Potential Campaign Finance Violations By The Trump Campaign. While serving as an FEC commissioner, Trainor has voted in Trump’s favor numerous times over potential campaign finance violations involving the Trump campaign, including one deadlocking vote shielding Trump’s campaign from hefty penalties over a complaint of laundering hundreds of millions of dollars.

Trainor Is An Election Denier Who Supports GOP Efforts To Train Election-Denying Poll Workers and Observers. After the 2020 election, Trainor pushed lies and conspiracy theories about the results, making an appearance on Newsmax to declare, “I do believe that there is voter fraud taking place.” He later spoke at a Texas GOP-sponsored “election integrity” event ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. The event labeled him as a member of the “Trump Elections Team” – even though the Federal Election Campaign Act “prohibits commissioners from doing any outside legal work for anybody.” During the event, Trainor reportedly told attendees that Republicans “need at least one well-trained election worker and poll watcher in each polling place.”

Trainor Supports Right-Wing Christian Nationalist Proposals, Including Unraveling the Separation of Church and State. Trainor has invoked far-right, Christian nationalist views. In interviews, Trainor has declared the separation of church and state a “fallacy” and called the 2020 election a “spiritual war.” He even expressed support for allowing tax-exempt churches to endorse political candidates, citing a Trump-era executive order encouraging churches to ignore the federal tax law barring nonprofits from endorsing candidates running for office.

Elizabeth Foley

Law Professor, Florida International University

Foley Is Not A Member of The New York Bar and Has No Listed Experience With New York Case Law. Even though Trump’s criminal trial in Manhattan is being prosecuted exclusively under state law and has nothing to do with the federal government or federal statutes, House Republicans have selected Foley – a law professor with no experience in New York law – as an expert legal witness. According to her most recent curriculum vitae, Foley is only a member of the Florida and District of Columbia Bar Associations and has not listed any experience practicing law in the State of New York.

Foley Defended Trump After His Manhattan Conviction, Publishing An Op-Ed Attacking The Proceedings. Just days after Trump’s conviction, Foley published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal alleging that the trial violated Trump’s due process rights – even though the trial was conducted fairly in keeping with the standard practices of New York’s justice system and Trump was convicted unanimously by a thoroughly vetted jury of his peers

Foley Is A Republican Donor Who Contributed $1,000 To Trump’s Campaign. Foley is a longtime Republican donor who donated thousands of dollars to Republican candidates in 2012 and contributed $1,000 to Trump’s campaign in 2016. By leaning on high-dollar Trump donors, MAGA House Republicans are engaging in yet another partisan stunt instead of actual oversight.

Foley Has Ties To Right-Wing Think Tanks, Including the James Madison Institute and Heritage Foundation, and Is A Repeat GOP Witness. Foley currently serves on the James Madison Institute’s Research Advisory Council. The Institute is a right-wing think tank with deep ties to the Koch Brothers that targeted President Biden during the 2020 election, publishing wild guesstimates about the cost of his policy proposals. The organization has a track record of spreading misinformation for political purposes, including by using deliberately misleading language. Prior to joining the Institute, Foley served as a member of a working group at the Heritage Foundation, which was deeply influential in the Trump administration, helping select his staffers and even members of his cabinet, and has published a lengthy policy document entitled “Project 2025” detailing plans to radically reshape the federal government if Trump is elected to a second term. Foley is also a repeat GOP witness, previously appearing before Congress at the invitation of House Republicans on numerous occasions. 

  • Foley Authored Numerous Briefs In Favor of Overturning Key Provisions In The Affordable Care Act. Foley has penned numerous briefs supporting litigation against the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare. In 2012, she authored an amicus curiae brief on behalf of her law firm, the so-called Institute for Justice, arguing that the health insurance individual mandate provision was unconstitutional. In 2015, Foley authored another round of amicus briefs in a very similar case on the same subject.

Andrew Bailey

Missouri Attorney General

Bailey, Who Has Nothing To Do With Trump’s Criminal Case, Is Yet Another Repeat GOP Witness. Despite having no connection to Trump’s criminal proceedings in New York, where Trump’s trial took place well over 1,000 miles away from the Missouri capital, Bailey has been selected by the House GOP as a witness in their baseless stunt hearing. Not only is Bailey not involved with the Manhattan district attorney’s office, but he’s also a repeat GOP witness. Just a few months ago, House Republicans featured Bailey as a witness in their first hearing focused on impeaching Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayrokas – another hearing with no relation to Missouri laws or prosecutorial interests.

Bailey, Facing A MAGA Primary Challenge, Has Used His Position To Push Partisan Lawsuits and Defend Donald Trump From Criminal Proceedings. Bailey is facing a primary challenge from an attorney for Donald Trump, and has been seeking to boost his MAGA credentials, pushing partisan lawsuits on right-wing culture war grievances including LGBTQ+ inclusion in sports, immigration policy, and more. Further, over the past year, Bailey has used his office to defend the former president from the myriad criminal proceedings against him:

  • May 2024: Bailey Personally Intervened In Trump’s Criminal Proceedings, Demanding All Communications From The State and Federal Prosecutors Involved. Bailey has attempted to involve himself and intervene in the four criminal trials against former president Trump, sending personal requests for all communications related to the prosecution between the Justice Department, Manhattan district attorney’s office, New York attorney general’s office, and Fulton County district attorney’s office. 
  • December 2023: Bailey Joined a MAGA State Coalition Supporting Trump In the Federal Case Prosecuting His Involvement In January 6th. In December 2023, Bailey joined a multi-state amicus brief supporting former President Donald Trump in a case over his involvement in the January 6th insurrection. The attorneys general opposed holding the trial before the 2024 election, arguing that the case did not “require immediate determination.”
  • November 2023: Bailey Joined a MAGA State Coalition Interfering In Court Proceedings Against Former President Trump, Defending Trump After He Attacked Judges, Prosecutors, and Potential Witnesses. In November 2023, Bailey signed on to an amicus brief objecting to court penalties imposed on former president Trump for violating the terms of his indictment and attacking the judge involved in his case: “The attorneys general filed an amicus brief Tuesday in support of Trump in United States of America vs. Donald J. Trump. In October, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ordered the gag order on Trump barring him and his lawyers from criticizing the court, prosecutors, and potential witnesses – who could even be his primary opponents – leading into the presidential election.”
  • May 2023: Bailey Joined A Partisan Lawsuit Against the Biden Administration Based On Policy Disagreements. In May 2023, Bailey joined a coalition of Republican attorneys general in a partisan lawsuit attacking the Biden administration’s border policy.

As Missouri Attorney General, Bailey Has Used His Office To Litigate Right-Wing Grievances and Has Pushed To Expand The Power of His Office. “Bailey has shaped the attorney general’s office into his own battleground in the conservative culture wars. The unelected Republican has pushed the boundaries of the office, attempting to use state law to effectively ban gender-affirming care for both adults and kids in April. He deployed a rarely-used legal maneuver in an effort to take down the top elected prosecutor in St. Louis. He tried to circumvent Republican Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick to inflate the cost of a ballot measure to restore abortion rights. And he’s wielded the office to take on President Joe Biden and the federal government, although he has not led many of the lawsuits championed by his office.” [The Kansas City Star, 6/25/23]