Donald Trump’s arraignment in a Manhattan court on Tuesday was carried out with the minimum amount of fanfare — considering that this was a historic first grand jury indictment of a former president.
However, the court proceedings in the wake of ostensible felony leaks to the press about the sealed indictment did produce a curiosity: How was radical activist Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg able to elevate charges that are misdemeanors past the statute of limitations and stack them into 34 felony charges, when the facts of the case did not show there was a cover-up of a more serious crime?
As the eagle-eyed legal commentator Techno Fog noted, there was a critical thing that the Trump indictment and statement of facts omitted.
There's a curious omission in the Donald Trump indictment and statement of facts –
The specific federal law Trump violated. pic.twitter.com/bsM32x4jhn
— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) April 4, 2023
“The specific federal law Trump violated,” he remarked.
Well, that certainly seems to be a problem.
But on Monday, the Soros-backed DA hinted at the alleged criminal issue: Donald Trump committed “election interference.” Seriously.
Alvin Bragg says that the second crime Donald Trump tried to conceal with the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels was "suppressing negative information to help his chances of winning the 2016 election." pic.twitter.com/dYVdKf4lAZ
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) April 4, 2023
“Why did Donald Trump repeatedly make these false statements?” Bragg said. “The evidence will show that he did so to cover up crimes relating to the 2016 election.”
“Donald Trump executives at the publishing company, American Media Incorporated, Mr. Cohen, and others agreed in 2015 to a catch-and-kill scheme,” Bragg claimed.
“That is a scheme to buy and suppress negative information to help Mr. Trump’s chance of winning the election,” Bragg added. “As part of this scheme, Donald Trump and others made three payments to people who claim to have negative information about Mr. Trump to make these payments.”
If you were paying attention, beyond the ridiculous hyperbole, Trump did not actually “catch-and-kill” anyone. Furthermore, “star witness” Michael Cohen, a convicted perjurer, has already plead guilty to paying adult actress “Stormy Daniels” (aka Stephanie Clifford) out of his own personal funds, and furthermore, Daniels had refuted the rumors in public that she had an affair with Donald Trump on multiple occasions.
Then there is the non-trivial matter that public opinion would not have been significantly swayed by the “revelation” of Trump’s alleged affair, due in part to similar rumors regarding Playboy model Karen McDougal swirling around as well as the Access Hollywood clip with his “grab her by the p****” quote.
“McDougal’s payment in August 2016 was arranged through the publisher of the National Enquirer as part of tabloid practice known as ‘catch and kill,’ in order to prevent it from ever becoming public,” USA Today reported.
“Federal prosecutors in New York, who investigated the hush money arrangements as part of a prior investigation into former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, said those payments violated federal campaign finance laws,” the report added. “And Cohen himself has claimed repeatedly that Trump directed him and then-Trump Organization chief financial officer Allen Weisselberg to arrange the payments.”
While it was not previously known if McDougal’s case would be included in the charges, it was revealed at Tuesday’s arraignment that it was.
“Prosecutors also allege that American Media paid $150,000 to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, and Mr. Trump’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen paid $130,000 to adult film star Stormy Daniels to stop both of those women from coming forward about sexual encounters with the president,” the Washington Times reported. “Mr. Trump has repeatedly denied both affairs, but said he was aware of the payments.”
“Mr. Trump reimbursed Mr. Cohen for the funds, but logged the expenses in the Trump Organization as “monthly retainer’,” the report added.
“Manhattan is home to the country’s most significant business market. We cannot allow New York businesses to manipulate their records to cover up criminal conduct,” Mr. Bragg said in a statement. “As the Statement of Facts describes, the trail of money and lies exposes a pattern that, the People allege, violates one of New York’s basic and fundamental business laws. As this office has done time and time again, we today uphold our solemn responsibility to ensure that everyone stands equal before the law.”
Americans certainly don’t want any interference in the nation’s elections — such as a political candidate financing a dossier filled with lies and rumors to take out a rival candidate with unsubstantiated allegations of treason, thereby weaponizing the Justice Department to justify campaign spying, while misfiling it as a “legal expense” and leading to a fine from the Federal Elections Commission.
Nor would we want a White House-coordinated effort to conduct a raid on a former president and future election rival to snatch-and-grab “classified” documents ahead of the midterm elections, particularly if the sitting president had a far worse “classified” documents scandal that was suppressed until after the midterm elections.
Nor would we want a president who is intending to run for re-election assisting in the orchestrated and politically motivated prosecution of his leading rival presidential candidate based on phony trumped-up charges.
Nor would we want a weaponized district attorney’s office committing multiple felonies in the process of prosecuting a presidential candidate, such as hiding potentially exculpatory evidence from the grand jury, or making illegal leaks to the press, all in an effort to tarnish the candidate’s reputation ahead of a presidential election.
No, we certainly wouldn’t want any of that.
That wouldn’t just be ironic — that would be downright criminal. It would be the kind of thing that get lawyers charged and disbarred. It is the kind of thing that gets presidents impeached.
Thus, we not only have a cloud of political persecution enveloping the Trump case, we also have a cloud of criminality.
Trump’s enemies have apparently committed more crimes attempting to pin crimes on the former president than he himself has allegedly committed.
That is America now under our weaponized injustice system.
Manhattan D.A. Accused of Hiding Hundreds of Pages of ‘Exculpatory Evidence’ from Grand Jury in Trump Case
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.