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FACT SHEET: MAGA Republicans Continue To Retaliate Against Trump’s Conviction With Yet Another Stunt Hearing Featuring Partisan Witnesses

Jul 9, 2024

This morning, House Judiciary Republicans are holding yet another 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 repeat GOP witness deeply involved in right-wing policy circles, a former judge-turned-right-wing-author associated with far-right podcasters, and a former Trump administration official with no experience in New York state law.

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. The House GOP’s latest bizarre MAGA slate 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 again focused on stunt hearings featuring partisan witnesses.


Bradley A. Smith

Professor of Law, Capital University Law School

Smith Is A Repeat House GOP Witness With A History of Partisan Entanglements. This isn’t the first time the MAGA House GOP has called on Smith to serve as a witness for partisan hearings during the 118th Congress. In May 2023, he testified at a so-called election integrity hearing at the invitation of the House GOP Administration Committee. Smith has a history of right-wing, partisan entanglements, having served as a Federal Election Commissioner despite numerous pro-democracy groups opposing his nomination to the FEC, including the Brennan Center for Justice, Common Cause, and Democracy 21. He’s also a highly active member of the hard-right Federalist Society, which shaped the Trump-appointed MAGA judges on the Supreme Court who have spent the past two years reshaping the country, including by overturning abortion protections. Smith has spoken at dozens of Federalist Society events.

Smith Is Deeply Involved In Right-Wing Policy, Founding An Institute With MAGA Ties. Smith is the founder and chairman of the right-wing Institute for Free Speech, a right-wing “free speech” group focused on ending campaign finance regulations. He’s also involved with the Buckeye Institute, another partisan group, which is pushing to end government regulation and even opposes the Affordable Care Act. Both groups are part of a network of right-wing think tanks known as the State Policy Network, responsible for crafting extreme policies enacted by MAGA legislatures across the country. Right-wing billionaires like the Koch brothers also fund both organizations

John H. Wilson

Former Judge, Bronx County Civil Court & Kings County Criminal Court

Wilson Unsuccessfully Ran For The New York Supreme Court Four Times. Wilson’s career as a judge ended a decade ago. He served as a judge for local courts in the Bronx and Brooklyn, and unsuccessfully ran for the New York Supreme Court four times, losing every time after failing to garner more than 4 percent of the vote. 

Wilson Spends His Free Time Pushing Partisan Books and Promoting Them On Far-Right Channels. Wilson, who hasn’t served as a judge in a decade, has spent the past year publishing right-wing books attacking the Biden administration and the U.S. justice system. In January, he published a book on the Trump indictments, writing that prosecutors are “making the 45th President into a martyr, a symbol for his supporters to rally around and believe in more strongly than ever before.” He then published a book last month calling the Biden administration “lawless” and “totalitarian to its very core.” He even declared the administration’s actions “in direct violation of the US Constitution, and are an active threat to our system of checks and balance [sic].” Wilson has also taken interviews on fringe platforms to promote his books, starring on a far-right podcast known as “2 Guys 1 Coup” just last month. These aren’t the first partisan books he has published either – early on in his judicial career, Wilson wrote a xenophobic, anti-immigrant children’s book comparing illegal immigrants to “weeds.”

Jonathan L. Fahey

Partner, Holtzman Vogel PLLC

Fahey Is A Former Trump Administration Official Appointed During Trump’s Final Months In Office. Fahey was appointed by Donald Trump to serve in his administration in mid-2020. He served as a Senior Advisor for the Department of Homeland Security before being promoted to Deputy assistant secretary and was later named Acting Director of U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) within DHS. He served in DHS while Trump and his MAGA allies contemplated an executive order that would have authorized the department to seize voting machines following Trump’s loss in the 2020 presidential election. Fahey resigned his post just weeks after being appointed after refusing to join a union agreement.

Fahey 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 Fahey – a former Trump-era agency head with no experience in New York law – as an expert legal witness. Fahey is only a member of the Virginia and District of Columbia Bar Associations and is admitted to the Virginia-based Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and two Virginia-based District Courts, but has no listed experience at all practicing law in the State of New York.