The Secret Service will always protect the former president. No one will press Donald Trump against the trunk of a car and cuff him. No one will frog-march him anywhere. Trump will not be denied bail for his heated rhetoric in a city that releases by lunchtime people who shoot at police officers before breakfast. The fact that some people want that, over these allegations, is nothing short of bizarre.
New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg will yammer about no one being above the law as he charges a former president with the white-collar equivalent of littering and as he ignores countless felonies that will occur on the subway during that presser and photo op. To the hardest of the left, Bragg will take on woke folk hero status. To most everyone else, this indictment of Trump will be deemed buffoonery at its finest.
All lawyers are ethically required to avoid even the appearance of impropriety in their professional conduct. A prosecutor who promised he will find a way to convict a man and his family of yet unknown crimes, as Bragg has, is not a close ethical call.
But Bragg appears to have concluded there is a Trump exception to his questionable behavior. If you are fighting the devil, no action is out of line.
If there is ever a trial, and I do not expect to see one, the Manhattan DA’s selective prosecution will be front and center, relevant and admissible. Likely, Bragg would be called as a witness to explain why he went on talk radio to boast that he would find a way to nail Trump if the people of New York City voted for him. He would have to explain why he has not charged anyone else for similar alleged crimes. His bias will be clear and on display.
These Charges Are Obviously Absurd
Bragg has likely brought two kinds of charges against President Trump in an indictment that should have already been unsealed. The charges for allegedly bad paperwork are barred by the long-expired statute of limitations.
Bragg will argue that efforts to hide other alleged crimes extend the time for him to charge Trump. That’s ridiculous. If he were correct, a person could commit a crime, but not tell anyone, deny wrongdoing, and extend the criminal statute of limitations indefinitely by not turning himself in. The exception would swallow the rule.
Second, Bragg will try to fold federal campaign-related charges—over which he has no jurisdiction—into a state prosecution. No one has ever attempted this because it makes no legal sense and is blatant bootstrapping.
When a federal prosecutor passes on charging a case over which he has exclusive authority, that is not an invitation for an overzealous city prosecutor to step up. Bragg’s office has very limited jurisdiction over only certain people and can only charge them with limited crimes. The same goes for the city prosecutor in a sleepy Midwest town.
No, Trump Isn’t Going to Trial Soon
We hear from leftist media that “Trump will soon go to trial.” That is so naïve it almost hurts. Like any case, civil or criminal, there is a required process. It is called due process. It is right there in the Constitution and even applies to Donald Trump.
First, the defense will raise legal issues to be decided by a judge, not a jury. If the judge allows the case to proceed, which is unlikely, only then would a jury hear the facts and render a verdict.
Undoubtedly, President Trump’s team will seek to dismiss the charges as defective based upon grounds including the statute of limitations. If the judge does not buy Bragg’s transparent effort to extend the limitations period, the court will grant the motion to dismiss, and this case will end with a whimper. There is a strong likelihood of this result.
If still necessary, the defense will challenge how Bragg has counted offenses. A judge can dismiss counts that are duplicative and overcharged, or over which the prosecution lacks jurisdiction.
Lastly, team Trump will certainly argue Bragg cannot turn an unserious time-barred misdemeanor into a felony by claiming the document offense was intended to cover a federal campaign finance charge over which Bragg has no charging authority. That is another compelling argument.
When a New York mugger randomly shoves a person on the street, that is misdemeanor simple battery that Bragg would not charge at all. That conduct does not become the federal felony of tampering with the mail because the victim had a letter in his pocket when struck.
Novel theories bring aggressive legal challenges. The media will parade “legal experts” who have never seen a courtroom or filed, argued, won, or lost a motion to dismiss to misconstrue all of this for us. They will tell us “Trump is trying to get off on a technicality” as though they would just skip their own legal defenses were they the target of politically driven charges that stretched this far.
Can Trump Get a Fair Trial in NYC?
If the assigned judge is a conservative and dismisses any part of the case as legally defective, the media will tell us that he or she cheated for Trump and the judicial system is rigged for Republicans and must be dismantled. If the judge is a leftist and does not dismiss any claims, many will argue he or she is a political hack and the system is rigged against conservatives and must be destroyed and reconstituted.
If a far-left judge dismisses or a far-right judge does not, the media will be perplexed and paralyzed. In that instance, the judge will be called a traitor and incompetent by his or her own party. What we cannot know is whether the judge will be able to entirely avoid the visceral response to everything Trump and resist the immense political pressure to go one way or the other. Who on the bench would want this case?
If Bragg’s case survives legal and procedural challenges, there will be requests to change venue to get out of NYC. Those will likely be denied. A jury would then hear all the facts and render a verdict.
Jury trials are tough. Most of the time, if the lawyers present high-quality cases, juries get them right. Whether the Trump effect will change that is of course a critical unknown.
Bragg’s star witness is disbarred lawyer and convict Michael Cohen, who has proven to be loosely tethered to the truth, if not reality. All of this salacious testimony would relate to an extramarital affair Daniels now denies and a payment Cohen previously said he made of his own volition.
Don’t Believe Most Things You Read
From now until this case ends, people should disbelieve most of what is reported. President Trump is not going fly on Con-Air, get prison ink, or get shanked. If you hear that things are going so well in his defense that Trump need have no concerns, that is equally untrue. Trials are by their nature nerve-wracking, and outcomes are uncertain.
Regardless of what the next several months bring, remember that American leftists have a penchant for starting battles they are unprepared to finish. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid crammed through a 51-vote threshold for confirmation of federal judicial nominees. The result is a strong conservative majority on the Supreme Court.
Hillary Clinton did worse than Trump is charged of doing and on a larger scale by buying and laundering through federal agencies the Steele dossier hit for $1 million, also characterized as “legal fees.” She paid a small fine and was not charged with any crime.
The feds raided Trump’s home and accused him of being careless with secret documents. Since then, a trail of Joe Biden’s classified materials with dates on them covering at least five decades has been discovered. There is credible evidence that many people named Biden sold influence for untold millions and the shoe with the “big guy’s” full name on it has yet to drop.
It is against this backdrop that Democrats have cast aside all acceptable conduct and norms to get one man who stands in the breach for half of the American population. Although all conservatives must respond peacefully, no quarter should be given within the bounds of the law, and the free pass routines given to Democrat politicians and lifer bureaucrats should no longer be paid any heed.
Conservatives must use the resources the law and congressional oversight allow to burn the proverbial ships, fight fire with fire, and even the playing field for the good of our republic. Only time will tell who will be standing after the sucker punch and counter both land.