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Mar 18 - Legal experts confused as Manhattan DA prepares Trump’s arrest for misdemeanor



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 1 year ago '22        #1
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icon Mar 18 - Legal experts confused as Manhattan DA prepares Trump’s arrest for misdemeanor
 

 
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg exits the courtroom after the jury found the Trump Organization guilty on all counts in a criminal tax fraud case in December. (Julia Nikhinson/AP)
It was just weeks into Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s time in office, and he was being assailed on multiple fronts.

A memo he had released outlining his strategy for prosecuting crimes in New York City was being vilified by critics, including the mayor and police commissioner. Bragg became a punching bag across cable news and on tabloid covers. Then two prosecutors from his office quit in protest over what they called Bragg’s decision not to prosecute former president Donald Trump. People who know Bragg say he was deeply stung by the criticism.

The district attorney soon issued an unusual public statement — emphasizing that the investigation into Trump and his business was far from over and that a team of investigators was “exploring evidence not previously explored.”


The message he wanted conveyed, it seemed, was simple: I'm still on this.

Almost a year later, Bragg’s investigation into one particular issue involving Trump — a payment made before the 2016 presidential election to an adult-film actress to keep her from publicly discussing an affair she said she had with Trump years earlier — appears to be nearing its conclusion.

A grand jury in Manhattan looking at the case could be on the precipice of charging Trump with a crime, though no decision has been announced and it remains unclear whether the group will issue an indictment or when that could happen.

This looming legal decision comes against a backdrop of high-profile challenges for Bragg, a Democrat who took office at the start of last year, and Trump, a former president who lost his reelection bid to Joe Biden in 2020 and is running for that office again amid a thicket of ongoing investigations.


Trump has lumped this case in with others, including the ongoing investigations into his handling of highly classified material and his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, denying wrongdoing and denouncing the probes as part of a system that’s out to get him.

For Bragg, meanwhile, the case is a high-wire balancing act for an official who has navigated controversies before but could find himself both being praised and pilloried if he becomes the first prosecutor to criminally charge a former president.

More on the Trump-Stormy Daniels case

Bragg has been circumspect in his public remarks about the Trump probe, saying mainly that investigators were continuing their work. After his office won a conviction of Trump’s namesake business for tax crimes last year, Bragg noted in one interview: “We’re going to do our talking in the courtroom.”


Some legal experts, though, are scratching their heads about why this particular investigation might be the first one to result in Trump being indicted. They describe it as an unusual case, given the potential charges involved as well as the fact that prosecutors have repeatedly examined the long-established details but decided not to pursue charges against him.

The case involves a $130,000 payment that Michael Cohen, a former Trump attorney and confidant turned nemesis, made to Stormy Daniels, an adult-film actress, before the 2016 presidential election.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, had told people years earlier that she had an affair with Trump, which he has long denied. Cohen has acknowledged making the payment, saying he did so expecting to be reimbursed; that refund was allegedly documented as payment for legal work.

Cohen later served time in prison after pleading guilty in two criminal cases in 2018, including one involving campaign finance violations related to payments made to Daniels and another woman alleging an affair with Trump. During one of his guilty pleas, Cohen said he acted at Trump’s direction and described the payments as intended to influence the 2016 election by keeping the women from sharing their stories publicly.

Cohen has also pleaded guilty to other crimes, including lying to Congress, and his credibility has been an issue that has left some authorities deeply wary of relying on him in bringing cases. Bragg and his team, for instance, initially expressed skepticism about bringing any criminal case that hinged on Cohen, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations and a former prosecutor in the district attorney’s office whose recently published book included details about its inner workings.

At times in 2022, officials in the office of New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) complained that Bragg’s office seemed uninterested in pursuing criminal charges against Trump and pushed for a more aggressive posture, said two people familiar with the matter who also spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations. Asked to respond, an official in James’s office said she did not believe the lawyers in the attorney general’s office shared this view.


Prosecutors scrutinizing Trump and the payment case in Manhattan are believed to be considering state charges of falsifying business records, which is a misdemeanor but can be elevated to a felony if records are falsified to cover up or commit another crime. In this case, the underlying crime could involve concealing the true nature of a campaign donation.

Ongoing investigations involving Donald Trump

It is unlikely that any new facts or witnesses have emerged since Cohen first publicly discussed the Daniels payment in 2018, according to a person with knowledge of the case. This person, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter, said Cohen was interviewed at length earlier in the probe by investigators for Cyrus Vance Jr., the previous Manhattan district attorney, and the parameters of the case have “been known for years.”

During Vance’s tenure, the investigative team considered attaching charges related to the Daniels payment to a prosecution involving alleged manipulation of asset valuations — if such a case were brought against Trump, at least — because it did not seem worthwhile or practical to bring the false records case on its own, the person said.


Bragg has suggested that his team was conducting a broad review of the case. His office declined to comment for this article and declined to make him available for an interview.

Whatever Bragg decides on the Trump question will undoubtedly become a defining part of his tenure as district attorney.

Bragg, a veteran prosecutor and former deputy to New York’s attorney general, won the job in 2021 pledging to institute reforms, becoming the fourth person elected Manhattan district attorney since World War II.


Two prosecutors working on his office’s investigation into Trump’s business dealings resigned. One of them wrote a resignation letter indicating that he felt frustrated that the Trump case had “been suspended indefinitely.”

The ex-prosecutor, Mark Pomerantz, wrote that Trump’s financial statements included lies about his assets, and said Vance, the previous district attorney, had directed officials to seek an indictment. (Vance declined to seek another term, opening the door to Bragg taking office.)

Pomerantz’s letter also called Bragg misguided for not prosecuting Trump. This departure spurred another round of public criticism for Bragg, who issued his statement pledging that the Trump investigation was ongoing.


Demonstrators protest outside the office of Bragg in New York in March 2022 after he suspended the grand jury presentation that focused on whether criminal charges should be brought against former president Donald Trump. (Stephanie Keith/Bloomberg News)
Pomerantz, who resigned less than two months after Bragg became district attorney, went on to write a book that published last month, laying out what he says unfolded amid these Trump investigations in Manhattan. The book included his depictions of meetings that focused on the case, criticized Bragg and others within his office, and argued that Trump should be prosecuted.

What still remains unclear is why Bragg and his office seemingly pivoted from a probe centered on Trump’s alleged practice of overvaluing his assets to the hush money issue that now appears to be the grand jury’s focus. Within Bragg’s office, this matter had been known in the past as the “zombie” case.

The case has gained some momentum this year. Bragg’s office convened a new grand jury in January to evaluate the issue. Grand jury proceedings are generally kept secret, so it remains unknown precisely what has unfolded before the panel.

Cohen has made multiple appearances before the grand jury, speaking to reporters near where they have met. An attorney for Daniels has said she spoke with prosecutors recently. Bragg also gave Trump an opportunity to appear before the grand jury, which legal experts say is typically among the things that happen late in such a probe.

Trump has said he never had an affair with Daniels and described her as extorting him. He also lambasted the case. In a lengthy statement posted on social media last week, Trump insulted Daniels’s physical appearance, belittled Bragg and described this case, along with others scrutinizing him, as “a weaponization of our judicial system.” He has also repeatedly criticized Cohen.

The status of key investigations involving Donald Trump

A spokesman for Trump this week issued a statement maintaining that Trump was innocent and suggesting he is being targeted to weaken him in next year’s presidential election. An attorney for Trump also wrote a letter last week to New York City’s Department of Investigation, demanding an investigation of Bragg’s office and accusing it of conducting a “politically motivated investigation.”


Trump boards his airplane, known as Trump Force One, at Palm Beach International Airport in Florida on Monday. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
A criminal case against Trump stemming from the Daniels payment could face at least one significant hurdle: relying even in part on testimony from Cohen, the former Trump attorney.

So far, Cohen has been the only person charged in connection with the Daniels payment. When Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018, saying he worked “in coordination” with Trump to silence Daniels and another woman before the 2016 election, his attorney questioned why these actions were not criminal for the then president. Long-standing Justice Department policy bars federal prosecutors from charging a sitting president with a crime. But after Trump left office, federal authorities still chose not to pursue him over the Daniels payment.

Concerns about Cohen’s credibility have long dogged the investigations of the Daniels hush money payments, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal discussions.

Legal experts expressed varying degrees of confidence in the wisdom of indicting Trump in state court for the Daniels payments, particularly after the case seemed for so long to be going nowhere.


Adult-film actress Stormy Daniels in Berlin on Oct. 11, 2018. (Markus Schreiber/AP)
Election and civil rights lawyer Leo Glickman said such a charge against Trump “fits within the letter of the law,” though he added that he can’t think of a previous case “in which the law has been used in precisely this way.”

“I’m very curious to see what he does, because it is novel, but that doesn’t make it nonviable,” said Glickman, a veteran election and civil rights lawyer based in Brooklyn.

Other analysts noted that there was also a risk of such charges being knocked down or reduced in pretrial motions, and that could have repercussions well beyond New York City.


“It is certainly a winnable case, but given the legal landscape, it would hardly be the first criminal case that I would bring against Donald Trump,” said Robert Katzberg, a white collar defense attorney for Holland & Knight who has tried cases in New York courts for decades.

“Prosecutors follow the principle that you must win the first case,” Katzberg said.

Katzberg said it appears authorities have stronger cases in other areas, including the probes into Trump’s efforts to undo 2020 election results and whether he mishandled classified documents and obstructed government efforts to retrieve those materials. Prosecutors running those inquiries, Katzberg said, cannot be thrilled if Bragg brings an indictment first in the Daniels case, “unless there are some extraordinary facts lying below the public domain.”

Bragg has said his office waited to take certain actions until after wrapping up a prosecution of Trump’s business for tax violations. The company was convicted in December, and after it was sentenced in January, Bragg said in a telephone interview that the case’s resolution allowed investigators to take other steps that, he suggested, might have been unfair during active litigation.

The tax trial’s conclusion created a “moment when we are able to use some investigative steps that would have, in my judgment, been challenging before,” Bragg said. While the tax case was pending, he said, serving subpoenas and interviewing witnesses would have drawn attention, which he wanted to avoid during that trial. Now, he said, “there are investigative steps which we can now more freely use” without impacting the tax case.


 https://www.washingtonpos .. T15ksOmReG3jKQ
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100 comments

 1 year ago '05        #2
Tha Boss  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x23
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Just comply.


Wasn’t that the slogan around 2016-2017
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Cohen later served time in prison after pleading guilty in two criminal cases in 2018, including one involving campaign finance violations related to payments made to Daniels and another woman alleging an affair with Trump. During one of his guilty pleas, Cohen said he acted at Trump’s direction and described the payments as intended to influence the 2016 election by keeping the women from sharing their stories publicly.





Why Trump didn’t call for protest when Cohen went down?ok for him to go to jail but not Don
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+20   

 1 year ago '22        #3
Booda Sack  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x15 OP
Props total: 37722 37 K  Slaps total: 27323 27 K
 Tha Boss said 🔗
Just comply.


Wasn’t that the slogan around 2016-2017
emoji



Cohen later served time in prison after pleading guilty in two criminal cases in 2018, including one involving campaign finance violations related to payments made to Daniels and another woman alleging an affair with Trump. During one of his guilty pleas, Cohen said he acted at Trump’s direction and described the payments as intended to influence the 2016 election by keeping the women from sharing their stories publicly.





Why Trump didn’t call for protest when Cohen went down?ok for him to go to jail but not Don
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Is hush money the worse crime committed by a president and justified for an unprecedented arrest?
-21   

 1 year ago '05        #4
Tha Boss  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x23
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 Booda Sack said 🔗
Is hush money the worse crime committed by a president and justified for an unprecedented arrest?
Hush money is a crime right? I’ve heard from him multiple times criminals should be locked up
+29   

 1 year ago '15        #5
Jad95  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x2
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Some legal experts, though, are scratching their heads about why this particular investigation might be the first one to result in Trump being indicted.”


So even they know by their own words he’s done a lot of shot to get locked up, they are just questioning why is this the charge that got him.


Last edited by Jad95; 03-18-2023 at 08:53 AM..
+20   

 1 year ago '15        #6
Jad95  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x2
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 Tha Boss said 🔗
Hush money is a crime right? I’ve heard from him multiple times criminals should be locked up
And the dumbass literally mentions crime in his tirade. It’s becoming increasingly obvious that crime isn’t the issue, they just want to get away with it while other people serve time.
+11   

 1 year ago '22        #7
Booda Sack  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x15 OP
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 Tha Boss said 🔗
Hush money is a crime right? I’ve heard from him multiple times criminals should be locked up
Answer the question is hush money the worse crime committed by a president to be arrested?
-11   

 1 year ago '22        #8
Booda Sack  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x15 OP
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 Jad95 said 🔗
Some legal experts, though, are scratching their heads about why this particular investigation might be the first one to result in Trump being indicted.”


So even they know by their own words he’s done a lot of shot to get locked up, they are just questioning why is this the charge that got him.
Yes because it’s a dumb charge and the feds investigated and didn’t pursue and there’s no new evidence. They believe he’s doing this due to pressure and him failing at his job. I believe the article is upset because such a weak unimportant case would hurt future prosecution. If you’re just going to charge him for the sake of putting him in jail to help your career instead of building an actual case that would call for a former president to be put in jail.
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 1 year ago '05        #9
Tha Boss  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x23
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 Booda Sack said 🔗
Answer the question is hush money the worse crime committed by a president to be arrested?
emoji




Yes it is. crime is crime. Do you have the same energy for black men for being arrested for weed charges. Is that the worse crime to be locked up for?
+19   

 1 year ago '22        #10
Booda Sack  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x15 OP
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 Tha Boss said 🔗
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Yes it is. crime is crime. Do you have the same energy for black men for being arrested for weed charges. Is that the worse crime to be locked up for?
Stop being dense this is a US president if this is the standard there’s no coming back from it. Bill Clinton literally did the exact same thing but no charges. This is not some average guy there are real consequences where this will lead the country. stop playing dumb you know how big this is.
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 1 year ago '05        #11
Tha Boss  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x23
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 Booda Sack said 🔗
Stop being dense this is a US president if this is the standard there’s no coming back from it. Bill Clinton literally did the exact same thing but no charges. This is not some average guy there are real consequences where this will lead the country. stop playing dumb you know how big this is.
But so and so did it why can’t trump get away too
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You protesting on Tuesday?
+20   

 1 year ago '15        #12
Jad95  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x2
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 Booda Sack said 🔗
Yes because it’s a dumb charge and the feds investigated and didn’t pursue and there’s no new evidence. They believe he’s doing this due to pressure and him failing at his job. I believe the article is upset because such a weak unimportant case would hurt future prosecution. If you’re just going to charge him for the sake of putting him in jail to help your career instead of building an actual case that would call for a former president to be put in jail.
Do you think crime filled democrat cities need to just “let go” if it’s a dumb charge too? Or do you think criminals in Democrat cities need to serve their time?

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Cognitive dissonance coming in 3…2…1
+12   

 1 year ago '22        #13
Booda Sack  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x15 OP
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 Jad95 said 🔗
Do you think crime filled democrat cities need to just “let go” if it’s a dumb charge too? Or do you think criminals in Democrat cities need to serve their time?

emoji


Cognitive dissonance coming in 3…2…1
Paying off a hooker isn’t exactly a crime that affects anyone or one that anyone cares about. New York won’t prosecute someone who robs a store but they will a former president who paid someone off a decade ago.
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 1 year ago '05        #14
Tha Boss  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x23
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 Booda Sack said 🔗
Paying off a hooker isn’t exactly a crime that affects anyone or one that anyone cares about. New York won’t prosecute someone who robs a store but they will a former president who paid someone off a decade ago.
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Every year in the U.S., between 70,000 and 80,000 people are arrested for prostitution.




Nobody cares about huh
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Ya mans bout to included in this number
+18   

 1 year ago '22        #15
Booda Sack  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x15 OP
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 Tha Boss said 🔗

Every year in the U.S., between 70,000 and 80,000 people are arrested for prostitution.




Nobody cares about huh
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Ya mans bout to included in this number
It wasnt for prostitution it was for her silence
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 1 year ago '05        #16
Tha Boss  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x23
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 Booda Sack said 🔗
It wasnt for prostitution it was for her silence
Now paying a hooker and paying off a hooker are two separate things
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+11   

 1 year ago '04        #17
erickonasis  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x7
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 Booda Sack said 🔗
Is hush money the worse crime committed by a president and justified for an unprecedented arrest?
🔗

+9   

 1 year ago '22        #18
Deeebo  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x6
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Biden getting ready to send 50 billion to Ukraine this another distraction let broke BX panthers say otherwise tho
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-9   

 1 year ago '22        #19
Booda Sack  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x15 OP
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 erickonasis said 🔗
↪🔗
To bad he doesn’t live by that on selective prosecution, his voters safety means less than his own political vendetta.

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 1 year ago '15        #20
Lord Funkington 
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Booda in here playing victim for Diaper Don.
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+17   

 1 year ago '15        #21
Lord Funkington 
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 Booda Sack said 🔗
To bad he doesn’t live by that on selective prosecution, his voters safety means less than his own political vendetta.
↪🔗
Lmao. That tweet is so ridiculously sensationalized. You really are becoming the Tucker Carlson of BX.
+9   

 1 year ago '15        #22
Lord Funkington 
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 GoldenKnight said 🔗
The arrest will be just a show put on to appease the woke crowd but it will absolutely backfire on them like everything else. Hopefully they are stupid enough to actually go through with it.
Define woke.
+9   

 1 year ago '15        #23
Lord Funkington 
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 GoldenKnight said 🔗
Woke" is the ideology of insincere fabrication of victims & victimhood through manufactured oppression/discrimination, for the ultimate purpose of acquiring power through such victimhood, and attaining undeserved social standing through faux outrage and virtue-signalling.
Oh. I meant your own words. Not the definition you picked off a meme on twitter.
+8   

 1 year ago '15        #24
Lord Funkington 
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 GoldenKnight said 🔗
There are many elements to being Woke.

Woke is a small fringe minority of society's least desirable people who believe that everything bad that happens to them is a conspiracy and not of their own doing.
Lol it's hilarious that some of you have no idea you're describing yourselves.
+16   

 1 year ago '05        #25
Tha Boss  topics gone triple plat - Number 1 spot x23
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 GoldenKnight said 🔗
The arrest will be just a show put on to appease the woke crowd but it will absolutely backfire on them like everything else. Hopefully they are stupid enough to actually go through with it.
How do you determine who’s “woke” vs who’s not?
+5   

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