Jonathan Turley: Alvin Bragg's Potential Case Against Trump 'Legally Pathetic'

 March 20, 2023

George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley blasted the potential arrest of former President Donald Trump.

Turley called the Manhattan District Attorney's case against Trump "legally pathetic."

Trump announced at the end of last week that an "illegal leak" revealed that he will be arrested this week.

"George Soros-tied Manhattan District Attorney Bragg is allegedly preparing to indict the leading GOP presidential candidate 'for alleged hush money payments Trump made as a presidential candidate in 2016' to Stormy Daniels," Fox News reported.

Turley said he is "highly critical of this case," calling it potentially "flawed."

"This is a flawed case if it is based on a state charge effectively prosecuting the federal election violation," tweeted Turley. "That federal case was rejected by the Justice Department. There are also statute of limitation questions that could come into play."

"Bragg may be able to expect highly motivated judges and jurors in New York. However, the novelty and questions in this case would present difficult appellate issues for the prosecution," Turley continued.

Turley didn't just take one side though, he also called on Trump "to tap down any inflammatory rhetoric."

"In an opinion article published in The Hill Saturday, Turley wrote that the case was 'legally pathetic' and highlighted issues with the 'most-discussed' potential charge in the case," reported Breitbart.

Turley wrote:

While we still do not know the specific state charges in the anticipated indictment, the most-discussed would fall under Section 175 for falsifying business records, based on the claim that Trump used legal expenses to conceal the alleged hush-payments that were supposedly used to violate federal election laws. While some legal experts have insisted such concealment is clearly a criminal matter that must be charged, they were conspicuously silent when Hillary Clinton faced a not-dissimilar campaign-finance allegation.

A Section 175 charge would normally be a misdemeanor. The only way to convert it into a Class E felony requires a showing that the “intent to defraud includes an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof.” That other crime would appear to be the federal election violations which the Justice Department previously declined to charge.

Turley added that Bragg’s office could not prosecute the charge, which would typically have a misdemeanor label, as the statute of limitations for such an offense is two years. Bragg would have to pursue a felony charge.