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Bragg prosecutor touted top Democrats as job references

A prosecutor who helped lead the hush money case against former President Donald Trump once used two key Democrats in the Biden White House as resume references, according to documents made public Tuesday. Matthew Colangelo, who had a critical role in securing a conviction against Trump in New York, listed former Democratic National Committee Chairman […]

A prosecutor who helped lead the hush money case against former President Donald Trump once used two key Democrats in the Biden White House as resume references, according to documents made public Tuesday.

Matthew Colangelo, who had a critical role in securing a conviction against Trump in New York, listed former Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez and President Joe Biden’s chief of staff, Jeff Zients, as references for a job Colangelo took in January 2018.

The references were part of an application for a role with the New York attorney general’s office that involved working on social justice matters under Alvin Bragg, who is now the Manhattan district attorney who brought criminal charges against Trump.


Colangelo noted on the reference sheet, which was published in part by the House Judiciary Committee and reviewed by the Washington Examiner, that Perez was Colangelo’s direct supervisor for several years when they worked in the Obama administration. Zients, Colangelo wrote, was his direct supervisor in the Obama administration for about a year.

Matthew Colangelo’s, who played a role in convicting former President Donald Trump in New York, reference sheet. (Courtesy of the House Judiciary Committee)

Perez became DNC chairman in 2017. After his organization raised nearly half a billion dollars in the 2020 election cycle and helped deliver Biden a narrow presidential victory, Perez stepped down as chairman in 2021. He is now working as a senior adviser to Biden.

The revelation of Colangelo’s close working relationship with two men so deeply invested in Biden’s success bolsters grievances raised by Trump and his Republican allies in Congress that Trump’s prosecution was driven by politics rather than a sincere effort to tackle white-collar crime. Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) shared the resume references on X with the comment “political hit job” in reference to the former president’s felony conviction in New York of falsifying business records.

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Prosecutors Matthew Colangelo, left, and Susan Hoffinger, right, leave a state office building , Thursday March 30, 2023, in New York. A lawyer for former President Donald Trump said Thursday he’s been told that the former president has been indicted in New York on charges involving payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence claims of an extramarital sexual encounter. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Colangelo, who delivered the opening statement at Trump’s trial earlier this year, was enlisted by Bragg, his one-time supervisor, to work on the Manhattan district attorney’s “most sensitive and high-profile white-collar investigations” beginning in December 2022, according to a hiring announcement. Colangelo had been working as a senior official in the Biden administration’s Department of Justice when he took the job with the Manhattan district attorney.

Although widely reported that Bragg was targeting Trump by the end of 2022, an email the Judiciary Committee also released Tuesday confirmed Colangelo was brought on to bring charges against Trump.

“Matthew, glad to see you are back in NYC. Sounds like you and Mr. Trump’s paths will continue to intersect,” an employee in New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office wrote to Colangelo as soon as Bragg hired him.

Colangelo had little experience in the field of white-collar prosecutions, but he did have a wealth of knowledge about Trump.

Before working at the DOJ, Colangelo worked for James, who investigated Trump for three years before bringing a massive civil lawsuit against him and the Trump Organization in the fall of 2022.

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During his time in James’s office, Colangelo was involved in Trump’s civil case and also led federal initiatives, which at the time involved filing lawsuits against the Trump administration, as well as investigating the Trump Foundation.

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Colangelo did not respond to a request for comment about his ties to Perez and Zients.

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