Originally published on ZeroHedge
Update (2040ET): According to Trump’s attorneys he is expected to be arraigned as early as Tuesday, the NY Times gleefully reports.
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Trump has responded to the lawsuit, saying in a statement: “This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history.”
‘This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history. From the time I came down the golden escalator at Trump Tower, and even before I was sworn in as your President of the United States, the Radical Left Democrats – the enemy of the hardworking men and women of this Country – have been engaged in a Witch-Hunt to destroy the Make America Great Again movement. You remember it just like I do: Russia, Russia, Russia; the Mueller Hoax; Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine; Impeachment Hoax 1; Impeachment Hoax 2; the illegal and unconstitutional Mar-a-Lago raid; and now this.
‘The Democrats have lied, cheated and stolen in their obsession with trying to ‘Get Trump,’ but now they’ve done the unthinkable – indicting a completely innocent person in an act of blatant Election Interference.
“Never before in our Nation’s history has this been done. The Democrats have cheated countless times over the decades, including spying on my campaign, but weaponizing our justice system to punish a political opponent, who just so happens to be a President of the United States and by far the leading Republican candidate for President, has never happened before. Ever.
“Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who was hand-picked and funded by George Soros, is a disgrace. Rather than stopping the unprecedented crime wave taking over New York City, he’s doing Joe Biden’s dirty work, ignoring the murders and burglaries and assaults he should be focused on. This is how Bragg spends his time!
“I believe this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden. The American people realize exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here. Everyone can see it. So our Movement, and our Party – united and strong – will first defeat Alvin Bragg, and then we will defeat Joe Biden, and we are going to throw every last one of these Crooked Democrats out of office so we can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley opined on the indictment in a Thursday interview with Fox News.
“Bragg reportedly has secured his indictment. He has made history, but it is an inglorious moment where even some on the left have criticized the effort. This is a patently political prosecution. Bragg and NY AG James ran on bagging Trump. This has fulfilled that pledge but, if the indictment follows the course described in coverage, it is deeply flawed theory. We will have to wait to see the indictment. …The objection is not to the prosecuting of a misdemeanor but the reported effort to extend the statute of limitations under an unprecedented bootstrapping theory. We have not heard of an alternative criminal theory.
Jonathan Turley on the indictment of President Trump:
“It’s rather outrageous. It’s legally pathetic.”pic.twitter.com/fDn1D0f0fx
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) March 30, 2023
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, meanwhile, has issued a statement condemning the “weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda,” adding that Florida “will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue with this Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda.”
The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head.
It is un-American.
The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is…
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 30, 2023
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has weighed in as well, tweeting; “Alvin Bragg has irreparably damaged our country in an attempt to interfere in our Presidential election.
“As he routinely frees violent criminals to terrorize the public, he weaponized our sacred system of justice against President Donald Trump.”
Alvin Bragg has irreparably damaged our country in an attempt to interfere in our Presidential election.
As he routinely frees violent criminals to terrorize the public, he weaponized our sacred system of justice against President Donald Trump.
The American people will not…
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) March 30, 2023
The President of El Salvador chimes in;
Imagine if this happened to a leading opposition presidential candidate here in El Salvador 🙃 https://t.co/T8TSfr3Nq4
— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) March 30, 2023
Tucker Carlson opines;
Donald Trump is now the first former President of the United States ever to be indicted. There is no coming back from this moment. pic.twitter.com/pHuXdDRAka
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) March 31, 2023
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A Manhattan Grand Jury has voted to indict former President Donald Trump over hush money paid to former porn star Stormy Daniels, according to the NY Times, citing four people familiar with the matter.
The still-sealed felony indictment, which comes as 2024 campaign season comes into focus, makes Trump the first former president in US history to face criminal charges.
The exact charges are not yet known, however the Times expects them to be announced in the coming days by the Manhattan district attorney’s office. Prosecutors working for DA Alvin L. Bragg will ask Trump to surrender and face arraignment on said unknown charges.
[U]nlike the investigations that arose from his time in the White House, this case is built around a tawdry episode that predates Mr. Trump’s presidency. The reality star turned presidential candidate who shocked the political establishment by winning the White House now faces a reckoning for a hush money payment that buried a sex scandal in the final days of the 2016 campaign.
Mr. Trump has consistently denied all wrongdoing and attacked Mr. Bragg, a Democrat, accusing him of leading a politically motivated prosecution. He has also denied any affair with the porn star, Stormy Daniels, who had been looking to sell her story of a tryst with Mr. Trump during the campaign. –NY Times
The move also comes just before the grand jury takes a one-month break until late April.
Interestingly, as The Epoch Times’ Jack Phillips reported, this month-long delay came after an attorney in former President Donald Trump’s orbit who testified in front of a Manhattan grand jury earlier this month believes that there has been a shift in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against the 45th president.
“Well, I think I got through to them, because [Monday] I understand they called back another witness by the name of David Pecker, who used to run the National Enquirer,” Costello, a former Michael Cohen attorney, told Newsmax on Tuesday.
“Basically, what they’re doing is really gerrymandering this,” he said of Bragg’s probe into Trump.
Costello said he had represented Cohen, himself a former Trump lawyer, and told reporters last week that he does not believe Cohen is a credible witness against Trump.
Sounds like that wasn’t the case.
The prosecution’s star witness in the case is former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who paid Stormy Daniels $130,000 to keep quiet about sleeping with Trump. Cohen said that Trump directed him to buy her silence (contrary to a 2018 letter from his lawyer claiming the opposite), and says that the Trump organization helped cover it up.
The case brought by Mr. Bragg, a Democrat, is far from a sure bet. Mr. Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance Jr., and federal prosecutors each passed on charging Mr. Trump in a stand-alone case related to the hush money. If the case goes to trial, a conviction would almost certainly require a jury to credit the testimony of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who has faced his own legal troubles and pleaded guilty to an array of federal felonies in 2018. Among them was a campaign-finance offense for the porn-star payment, as well as charges of lying to a bank and to Congress. -WSJ
Meanwhile, this didn’t age well…
Did Alvin Bragg just make Trump into even more of a martyr?
If this happens, it will be the beginning of Trump’s reelection. https://t.co/sQJsHsrib0
— Viva Frei (@thevivafrei) March 17, 2023
The indictment is an absolute scandal, the banana republic on parade, the prosecutor using the weapons of his office to attack his political opponent.
Bragg and his predecessor’s slow-walking of the investigation, with its inception by Manhattan DA goes back to 2019, evidences both the dubious nature of the case against Trump and the political motivations for prosecuting Trump. Theoretically, this should be a simple case. Yet the investigation went on for nearly five years, despite what they’ve possessed: overzealous prosecutors who wanted to charge Trump with racketeering, the cooperating witnesses, the likely millions of pages of materials from the Trump Organization.
Now suddenly, the insanely pro-criminal Manhattan DA, who demanded his prosecutors reduce charges for violent criminals, is prioritizing law and order. It’s hard to believe there are legitimate reasons – for prosecutors, that means seeking justice – for that transformation. Why bring the case now? It’s the start of the 2024 presidential campaign season.
You can’t help but think of the political calculations that went on in Bragg’s head. Not only does he benefit personally, now elevated to a liberal folk hero after being the prosecutor to finally get Trump (a campaign promise he keeps), but this throws a grenade into the Republican race. Will the GOP base rally to Trump? How will the other candidates respond?
And what will this do for the undecideds and the independents and the swing voters – those who are essential to victory in 2024?
Some of those questions will be answered in the short term. Some of them won’t be answered until election day, assuming Trump gets the GOP nod.
That’s because the case won’t go away. It’s illegitimate and political, but it’s here to stay for the time being. Don’t be surprised if the trial date is set for the first half of 2024. And don’t understate the danger to Trump, who will face a jury of Biden voters. Biden won Manhattan 86.7% to 12.3% according to the New York Times. The jury of Trump’s peers will be friendly to the prosecution. That’s all the Manhattan DA might need to secure a conviction. Trump could very well win on appeal but the damage – which carries national repercussions – might already have been done.
And that’s the whole point of this dirty scheme.
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