In a new profile out from Erica Orden, the DA is framed as a "low-key, politics-averse prosecutor," who is preparing to "take on" Trump. Bragg, however, has been preparing to prosecute Trump since he as running for DA in the first place.
In 2020, Bragg lamented that Trump hadn't been prosecuted alongside his attorney Michael Cohen, who had plead guilty of paying off Stormy Daniels, who was planning to speak publicly about her alleged romance with Donald Trump.
"If the reporting about it has been accurate," Bragg said in 2020, "and you know, I mean the Southern District of New York had a charging instrument where apparently the president was Individual-1, right?" Bragg said, noting that "Individual-1" had been the moniker for Trump in the court case against Cohen.
Bragg believed Cohen's testimony that Trump was "a co-conspirator" in the pay off to Daniels, and the misclassifying of that payment as legal fees. "And so, presumably, the evidence is there. And if it's a matter of, kind of, prosecutorial discretion, I mean, if they've already said it in a charging instrument. So I presume it could be, you know, accurate and charge ready," Bragg said.
Despite federal prosecutors not moving forward, Bragg has decided to take a stab at it. He's been planning to for a long time, despite Politico saying that he's "poltics-averse." Politics, and not crime, is the only reason to pursue this case.
In fact, in a similar case in which Hillary Clinton was found guilty of classifying payments made to her lawyers that were then used to fund an opposition research firm which fabricated the Russia-collusion hoax against Trump as legal fees, she was merely fined. The crime is a misdemeanor. Bragg is reportedly intenting to file a felony indictment, however, which includes the allegation that Trump was intending to engage in a second crime after the first one.
Bragg took over the DA's office after he won election in 2021, and two of the prosecutors who had been working on the case under the previous DA resigned. Bragg kept the investigation open, leaning into tax questions with the Trump Organization, seeking guilty pleas for tax fraud.
Bragg wanted to get Trump. So he began to look at the $130,000 payment made to Stormy Daniels, and he lined up convicted felon Michael Cohen as his star witness.
Bragg accepted $500,000 in funding from political donor George Soros, who made it his business to get district attorneys election who are soft on crime. And Bragg delivered, with major crimes increasing across the city by 22 percent. Robbery, burglary, and other crimes have all gone up.
Also there are laws that prevent criminals who have not committed violent crimes from being held on bail, and countless cases in which the accused is released only to commit additional offenses. This is called bail reform, and while progressives feel this is the compassionate approach for criminals, it has not proven to be compassionate to the law-abiding public.
Right after he stepped into office, Bragg told prosecutors on his staff not to prosecute low-level crimes, "telling them," Politico reports, "to stop charging many low-level crimes and to avoid seeking jail time for many robbery, assault and gun possession cases in which no other crimes were committed."
No one liked this except criminals, who were free to commit all manner of crimes against New Yorkers so long as they were the kind of crimes the district attorney turned a blind eye to.
Yet for Politico, Bragg's approach of favoring criminals over the public and lashing out politically, spending taxpayer funds on prosecuting Trump while letting criminals out to reoffend, has made him "a convenient target for Trump."
Politico claims that Bragg is "uninterested in poltical calculations," while seeming to be entirely neglecting the fact that Bragg, without even seeing any evidence, determined prior to taking office that Trump should be prosecuted despite someone else pleading guilty to the crime and federal prosecutors determining not to prosecute Trump.
Politico writes "...he is poised to pursue a criminal indictment of the former president in a case centered on a hush-money payment made to the porn actress Stormy Daniels at the height of the 2016 presidential campaign. Reimbursement for the payment was falsely recorded as legal expenses, according to federal prosecutors who first examined the case, and Bragg’s office is considering bringing a felony charge based on the falsification of business records. The charge carries a possible prison term of up to four years."
Recording the $130,000 payment made to attorneys as legal fees is surely something many bookkeepers would automatically do, yet for Bragg, who is picking up where two of his own prosecutors, along with the federal government, declined to proceed, this misclassification is a crime that should land the former president and current GOP 2024 contender behind bars.
Bragg has been prosecuting Trump for much of his career, which Politico seems to think gives him cover for this latest witch-hunt not being politically motivated. Instead, it paints Bragg as some kind of Ahab and Trump his great big white whale.
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