When you’re a far-leftist district attorney prosecuting the man the left hates the most, and you have lost the Washington Post, you might want to rethink your position. This is the situation in which New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg finds himself as he continues functioning as the head of the progressive spear to be used to kill former President Donald Trump’s chances of occupying the White House once again.
The Post’s editorial board published an op-ed titled “The Trump indictment is a poor test case for prosecuting a former president,” in which the authors cast doubt on the chances that Bragg will be able to carry out a successful prosecution of the former president based on the Stormy Daniels matter. They wrote:
Donald Trump deserves the legal scrutiny he’s getting — which has come from many corners on many counts. Yet of the long list of alleged violations, the likely charges on which a grand jury in New York state voted to indict him are perhaps the least compelling. There’s cause for concern, and caution, ahead.
The latest developments in the ongoing legal saga surrounding former President Donald Trump come as a result of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s decision to shift his focus to the so-called “zombie” case. The case centers on a $130,000 payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in exchange for her silence about an alleged affair she had with Mr. Trump about a decade earlier, which the former president denies. Michael Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, pleaded guilty to related crimes in 2018.
While the exact charges against Mr. Trump are not yet known, sources suggest that prosecutors are investigating him for his alleged involvement in allegedly falsifying records related to reimbursements for the hush-money payment. Such falsification is typically a misdemeanor in New York, but if it is found to have been done to cover up another crime, it could be elevated to a felony charge. The argument is that the payment constituted an illegal political donation that benefited Mr. Trump, especially given its timing so close to the election.
However, the fact that Bragg’s office is trying to do legal wrangling to get Trump on a felony might be an issue. From the Post:
Pyramiding two transgressions of state rules to go after a federal candidate is legally plausible. But the strategy is also novel, and courts may regard it with skepticism. What’s more, the potential campaign finance charge itself is shaky. When federal prosecutors charged former senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) with a similar crime following his 2008 presidential run, he rebutted the accusation by arguing he was trying to disguise his faithlessness from his wife rather than from the voting public. The trial ended in acquittal on one count and a hung jury on others — at which point the Justice Department dropped the charges.
The article also notes that “[t]his prosecution is now bound to be the test case for any future former president” and could also jeopardize the other legal cases Democrats wish to use against Trump. “Other investigations underway include Justice Department examinations of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection and classified documents discovered at Mar-a-Lago, where the possibility of obstruction of justice is particularly grave,” the authors noted. “These are straightforward cases compared with the one proceeding in Manhattan.”
The article concludes that Bragg’s prosecution must be “airtight” or that “[o]therwise, it’s not worth continuing.”
For once, the Post got it right. I guess what they say about broken clocks is true. But if even these people could see how risky this indictment is, then others probably do too.
If Bragg is relying on the Stormy Daniels issue to target Trump, then this whole effort will be dead in the water. Moreover, it will work to Trump’s favor, giving him more ammunition to use against those using the power of the government to attack him. He will continually draw attention to the reality that Democrats are weaponizing the state in an effort to interfere in the 2024 election. In other words, the Democrats could be playing right into the former president’s hands and just might live to regret it.
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