Advertisement

NY State Supreme Court Justice Has Best Response to Bragg Going After Fake Vax Card Buyers

Advertisement

OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg came under fire from a state Supreme Court justice for prosecuting two people who purchased phony COVID-19 vaccination cards more harshly than he does for those accused of far more severe offenses.

Judge Brendan T. Lantry of the state Supreme Court recently dropped Bragg’s felony charges against the two individuals, who attempted to disobey NYC’s vaccination mandate and were only identified by their initials in the case.

“J.O., a nursing student, and R.V., an employee with the city Department of Environmental Protection, were among hundreds accused of buying fake vaccination cards from a New Jersey stripper, Jasmine Clifford. The two were among just 16 people Bragg’s office ‘cherry-picked’ to prosecute and charge with felony criminal possession of a forged instrument, the judge said,” the New York Post reported. “Fourteen pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor, but J.O. and R.V. moved to dismiss the charges, prompting the DA’s office to contest the effort — and sparking outrage from the jurist.”

“Clearly, Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree (Penal Law § 170.25) is not among the most serious crimes in the New York Penal Law, nor are the factual allegations against Defendants R.V. and J.O. particularly serious in nature,” the judge wrote in the opinion.

“Moreover, the factual allegations — that the Defendants purchased fake COVID-19 vaccination cards so that they could provide same to their employer (R.V.) and school (J.O.) — do not rise to the level of the majority of the crimes adjudicated in Supreme Court, New York County, namely homicide, sexual assault, drug sale, robbery, burglary, and other violent and non-violent serious felony offenses,” he continued.

Advertisement

Lantry said the Court was “astonished” to see how Bragg’s office “routinely — nearly daily — move[s] to dismiss significantly more serious counts or entire indictments in the interests of justice simply to negate the consequences of New York’s predicate felon sentencing statutes or to avoid immigration consequences.”

City Council Minority Leader Joseph Borelli commended Lantry for her decision.

“This is what Alvin Bragg is — a clown,” Borelli told the New York Post. “Imagine prosecuting a scared woman for this, even though she didn’t even use the fake card, while at the same time letting violent perps go,” he added, referring to how one of the defendants got the fake card for her enrollment in nursing school, even though she ended up getting the shot anyway.

“I’m glad the judge called him out for the world to see,” Borelli added.

Bragg has been in the national spotlight after a jury found Trump guilty of 34 felony charges tied to a ‘hush money’ payment he made to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.

Advertisement

For weeks, liberal and conservative legal experts said Trump had committed no crimes and that Bragg — who initially declined to pursue the case but changed his mind after Trump declared he was running again for the presidency — essentially manufactured the 34 counts, many of which had already expired under New York statutes of limitation.

Bragg alleged, among other things, that Trump violated federal election law in that he was attempting to hide the payment to Daniels in order to protect his 2016 campaign. But the Federal Election Commission ruled in 2018 they had found no such violations. Also, the federal Southern District of New York declined to pursue any charges in the case, as did Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance Jr.

“This was a rigged decision right from day one. With a conflicted judge who should have never been allowed to try this case. Never. And we will fight for our Constitution. This is long from over,” Trump further declared.

“Crooked Joe Biden and the Democrats confined President Trump to a courtroom for more than eight hours a day for more than six weeks, and he’s still winning,” Trump campaign spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt told Fox News Digital separately. “Now that he is fully back on the campaign trial, Biden and the Democrats better buckle up.”

Advertisement

She also said Trump “generated billions of dollars in earned media coverage throughout the trial, hosted massive rallies and impromptu campaign stops in New York and beyond, increased his lead over crooked Joe Biden in the polls, and raised more money than Biden and the Democrats in the month of April. Not even a witch-hunt trial could slow him down. In fact, it only made him stronger.”

During the trial, Trump visited a bodega in Harlem where the owner was initially charged by Bragg for murdering a black man who was assaulting him. While there, a mob of supporters shouted Trump’s name and offered stunning support.

“We’re going to come in. No. 1, you have to stop crime, and we’re going to let the police do their job. They have to be given back their authority. They have to be able to do their job,” Trump said at the time. “And we’re going to come into New York. We’re making a big play for New York, other cities, too. But this city, I love this city.”

Advertisement
Test your skills with this Quiz!