OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former President Donald Trump has been indicted by a New York Grand Jury but that does not mean he is going to prison. In fact, according to a plethora of legal experts, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case is exceptionally weak, the New York Post reported.
“The question to ask yourself in a case like this [is], ‘Would a case like this be brought against anybody else, whether he or she be president, former president or a regular citizen?’ The answer is… no,” Former Whitewater deputy counsel Sol Wisenberg said.
“You can debate all day long whether or not… Trump should be indicted related to the records at Mar-a-Lago, whether or not he should be indicted with respect to Jan. 6 incitement of lawless activity… Those are real crimes if they occurred, and he committed them,” he said. “This is preposterous.”
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said in an interview with Fox News that the case is “outrageous.”
“[Bragg] is attempting to bootstrap [a] federal crime into a state case. And if that is the basis for the indictment, I think it’s rather outrageous,” the professor said.
“I think it’s illegally pathetic,” he said. “There’s a good reason why the Department of Justice did not prosecute this case: Because it’s been down this road before. It tried a case against former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards arguing that hush money paid to another woman, who bore a child out of that relationship, was a campaign violation. That was a much stronger case, but they lost,” Turley said, referring to federal prosecutors not charging Trump following Cohen’s guilty plea.
“Even if you can bootstrap that dead misdemeanor to something alive, you’re essentially arguing a federal case that the Department of Justice declined. But it’s also a case that requires you to show, if that is the basis of this indictment, that Trump’s only, his sole motive for paying this money or having third parties pay it was for the election,” he said.
“Bragg’s betting on a motivated judge and a motivated juror. You couldn’t pick a better jurisdiction…. [But] under Bragg’s theory, he can take any unproven federal crime and revive a long-dead misdemeanor and turn it into a felony. That’s going to raise concerns for a number of judges. But once it gets to the appellate level, he’s going to have a particularly difficult time,” he said.
“I think [Trump] gets out of it if we still have justice in New York, and I do have confidence in a number of the judges in New York. It’s different than some other places,” former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said on the Newsmax show ‘Greg Kelly Reports.’ “The case is really, really dismissible for about 10 obvious reasons, not the least of which is it violates the statute of limitations.
“The misdemeanor was not intended for nondisclosure agreements which are contracts between people that are perfectly legitimate. There are at least one million of them probably in existence in New York.
“The latching it on to the federal crime of illegal campaign contributions … first of all, it’s been determined that it’s not an illegal campaign contribution. It’s a personal expenditure,” he said.
The former mayor said that it is the “majority opinion of most, the commissioners, lawyers.”
“Bragg, as a state DA, has no authority to latch on to a federal statute in pursuance of another crime,” he said. “They only have authority in the New York State Legislature to be talking about New York crime.”
He said that a judge can dismiss the case quickly because it’s “an illegal charge.”
“If an indictment fails to state a legal charge – and a charge beyond the statute of limitations is an illegal charge – it has to be dismissed,” the former mayor said.
He said it could also be dismissed for “lack of jurisdiction.”
“If the felony that he [Bragg] latches on to is a federal felony, and that’s voted by a state grand jury, they don’t have the jurisdiction to do that,” he said.