If filed, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s highly anticipated “hush money” indictment against former President Donald Trump will be unprecedented. No sitting or former president of the United States has ever been indicted.
The U.S. House impeached Trump twice—and Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, once each. The Senate failed to convict any of them after their respective House “indictments.”
If Trump is indicted and then arrested, it will confirm America’s final plunge into Third World status. The U.S. justice system will be fully exposed as a tool to forgive Democrats and persecute Republicans, not least Joe Biden’s leading GOP rival. “Equal justice under law” will become a dim memory rather than a national ideal.
Until then, Americans should marvel at Bragg’s reported case. Manhattan’s far-left, George Soros-funded, thug-hugging DA might unseal an indictment with more holes in it than Trump’s Doral Golf Club.
First, hush money is no crime, unless someone gets paid to stay silent among police, prosecutors, defense attorneys, or judges. That is obstruction of justice.
Trump would be a criminal had he instructed his then-attorney Michael Cohen to wire $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford (nom de porn Stormy Daniels) to clam up if law enforcement asked about the adulterous affair that she alleges, and Trump denies.
Alas for Bragg, Trump reputedly paid Daniels not to talk with journalists. This is perfectly legal. Anyone who has signed a nondisclosure agreement (as Daniels did) understands this.
So, no crime undergirds Bragg’s fetish.
Second, the Federal Election Commission failed to judge any of this a crime. The FEC convened on Feb. 23, 2021. Its four voting members—two appointed by Democrats and two by Republicans—deadlocked. They could have criminalized this scenario, but they didn’t.
Third, the statutes of limitations have lapsed on all but one charge against Trump. The FEC’s First General Counsel Report specified on Dec. 7, 2020, that Trump faced three matters under review: The deadline for prosecution on MURs 7313 and 7319 was “Oct. 27, 2021 (earliest) – Dec. 8, 2021 (latest).”
MUR 7379’s limitation is “October 26, 2021 (earliest) – April 17, 2023 (latest).” While the expiration date on this accusation remains ahead (barely), Bragg has a huge problem. On Page 6 of its report, the FEC’s general counsel wrote: “ … we recommend that the Commission dismiss the allegation that Cohen, Trump, and the Trump Committee violated 52 U.S.C. § 30114(b) by converting campaign funds to personal use.”
Fourth, with two-year, misdemeanor statutes of limitations hindering him, Bragg reportedly wants to file felony charges against Trump. These carry five-year deadlines and threaten stiffer penalties.
However, to make this a federal felony case (puzzling work for a local prosecutor), the alleged violation (filing false campaign-finance reports) must be tied to a second, separate underlying crime. Since the FEC failed to rule any of this criminal, Bragg’s felony indictment would be a hot air balloon anchored to absolutely nothing.
Fifth, beyond the FEC, Gotham’s U.S. attorney and Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance Jr., both declined to prosecute Trump for hush money.
For his part, “Bragg appeared not to be focused on the case,” The Washington Post reported soon after he took office in January 2022. “Bragg didn’t seem keenly interested.”
That Feb. 23, Bragg’s Trump-related “inactivity,” as the Post described it, triggered the resignations of his deputies, Carey Dunne and Mark Pomerantz.
“I believe that your decision not to prosecute Donald Trump now, and on the existing record, is misguided and completely contrary to the public interest,” Pomerantz wrote Bragg as he quit. Pomerantz described the case against Trump as “suspended indefinitely.”
Pomerantz’s new book “People vs. Donald Trump: An Inside Account” bashes Bragg’s decision. This pressure and relentless Democratic demands to “get Trump” apparently pushed Bragg to spurn the law and instead fashion fresh partisan gifts for his fellow leftists.
Armed with these facts, Trump’s attorneys should file a motion to dismiss and then watch Bragg’s untethered contraption go up, up, and away.
Michael Malarkey contributed research to this opinion piece.
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