Did Trump ever have ‘a real shot at a fair trial’? U.S. House issues verdict

By Bob Unruh

President Donald J. Trump salutes Marine One from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, following his return from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. (Official White House photo by Andrea Hanks)
President Donald J. Trump salutes Marine One from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, following his return from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

President Donald Trump “never had a real shot at a fair trial in Manhattan,” a congressional report has determined regarding the 34 count conviction District Attorney Alvin Bragg got from a leftist jury there.

The counts originally were misdemeanor business accounting offenses, but the statute of limitations had expired. Bragg turned them into zombies, bringing them back to life on the claim that they were in furtherance of another, unspecified, crime.

A new congressional report delivers the stunning verdict on Bragg, and the compromised Juan Merchan, the judge in the case.

The report from the Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government cited several key failings by Bragg and Merchan, whose daughter was fundraising for Democrats off her father’s rulings in the courtroom.

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The report cited: “Bragg’s unconstitutional and unprecedented Russian-nesting-doll theory of criminal liability, in which the jury never had to reach unanimity beyond a reasonable doubt as to each element of the criminal offenses;

“Bragg’s usurpation of the federal government’s exclusive authority to prosecute alleged violations of federal campaign finance laws and the Biden-Harris Administration’s refusal to intercede to protect federal interests; and …

“Judge Merchan’s egregious legal rulings before and during the trial that all cut against President Trump’s rights, including: Judge Merchan’s failure to recuse himself for manifest political bias against President Trump; The unconstitutional gag order he imposed on President Trump during the trial; Judge Merchan’s admission of plainly inadmissible, irrelevant, and unfairly prejudicial testimony against President Trump; and Judge Merchan’s refusal to permit former Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley Smith to testify as to the meaning and complexities of the Federal Election Campaign Act.”

The committee explained, “President Trump never had a real shot at a fair trial in Manhattan. In a more neutral jurisdiction, where a politically ambitious prosecutor was not motivated by partisanship and a trial judge with perceived biases did not refuse to enforce a fair proceeding, President Trump would have never been found guilty. But Manhattan is anything but a neutral jurisdiction. President Trump promised to appeal, stating, ‘We will fight for our constitution. This is far from over.’ But the Democrats’ use of lawfare accomplished its short-term goal—it removed President Trump from the campaign trail and diverted attention away from President Biden’s missteps and failing policies.”

The congressional report said Bragg’s boast was that he secured a 34-count criminal indictment against President Trump that bootstrapped misdemeanor state charges for allegedly falsifying New York business records to an ambiguous, unknown federal crime to aggravate the charges to felonies.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg discussing the arraignment of President Donald Trump on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. (Video screenshot)
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg discussing the arraignment of President Donald Trump on Tuesday, April 4, 2023.

In fact, the claims revolved around payments former Trump employee Michael Cohen made to Stephanie Clifford (also referred to as Stormy Daniels) in 2017 – essentially a hush money payment which is not illegal.

“Legal experts have detailed serious legal and constitutional deficiencies with Bragg’s politicized prosecution. First, as one legal scholar explained, even if the alleged bookkeeping irregularities ‘amount[ed] to fraud crimes . . . the transactions in question could not possibly have had the slightest impact on the 2016 election. They didn’t occur until months later—specifically, from February 14 through December 5, 2017.’ Second, ‘even if Bragg had jurisdiction to enforce federal campaign finance law’ and ‘even if Bragg were correct that the … payments were in-kind campaign contributions that had to be disclosed,’ any disclosure would have been due ‘several months into 2017. Again, there could not conceivably have been any impact on the 2016 election.'”

The committee began investigating last year, and said it had to go to court to obtain testimony from Mark Pomerantz, a former special assistant DA in Manhattan.

The conclusion, the committee said, was that “Bragg’s prosecution of President Trump was politically motivated, unethically and likely unlawfully focused solely on one person, and ‘opened the door for future prosecutions of a former president—or current candidate—that would be widely perceived as politically motivated.'”

It actually, the report said, was “lawfare tactics” by the “highest offices in the Department of Justice.”

Further, the report said, “The committee heard testimony from Federal Election Commission (FEC) Commissioner James ‘Trey’ E. Trainor, III who explained how Bragg’s prosecution was ‘a significant deviation’ from a well-established legal framework as Bragg ‘usurped the jurisdiction that Congress [] explicitly reserved for federal authorities.’ The committee also heard from a constitutional law scholar and attorney Elizabeth Price Foley who explained in detail how the trial violated President Trump’s constitutionally protected due process rights.”

The report said, “Finally, the committee heard from Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey who drew on his expertise as Missouri’s chief law enforcement officer to discuss how Bragg’s prosecution was clearly ‘politically motivated and replete with legal error.’ A fundamental principle of the American system of justice is that no individual is above the law. But just as important is the precept that prosecutors prosecute conduct, not individuals,” the report said.

“Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, however, ran for office on a platform of investigating and prosecuting President Trump, bragging about his extensive experience suing President Trump.”

The report concluded: “Every person admitted to practice law in New York, including elected district attorneys and appointed judges, must take a ‘constitutional oath of office,’ swearing or affirming to ‘support the constitution of the United States, and the constitution of the State of New York.’ By taking that oath, District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Judge Juan Merchan were legally ‘bound to a constitutional course of conduct.’ In their politicized efforts to indict and convict President Trump, they failed their oaths of office. But neither of these faithless officials will have the last word on the travesty of justice that transpired in lower Manhattan on May 30, 2024. The testimony that the committee and select subcommittee have received makes clear that President Trump’s trial was riddled with constitutional defects—defects that should prompt the New York appellate courts to reverse the verdict.”

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