Alvin Bragg, the prosecutor facing Donald Trump

Alvin Bragg, the prosecutor facing Donald Trump

Since 1is January 2022, Alvin Bragg is the New York State Attorney for the District of Manhattan. As such, it is he who is in charge of the charges on the New York island, in the name of state law. Upon taking office, he inherited many heavy and complex files, including one involving the accounts of the Trump Organization. And an even more explosive one, since it concerns Donald Trump himself.

At 49, Alvin Bragg could go down in history by indicting a former president of the United States, a first. An indictment all the more sensitive as the 45e tenant of the White House aspires to be also the 47e : Donald Trump is indeed seeking the Republican nomination for the presidential election of 2024.

At the heart of this more than six-year-old case is the payment of 130,000 dollars (€121,300), made shortly before the 2016 election to a pornographic actress. It was then a question of preventing her from spreading in the media about the affair she would have had with Donald Trump a few years earlier. This sum was paid by Michaël Cohen, one of the lawyers of the businessman from Queens, who then obtained reimbursement from the candidate.

A file more complex than it appears

So far, nothing illegal. Donald Trump would rather be a victim – victim of an extortion attempt. But Alvin Bragg, an African-American Democrat – in New York State, as in the majority of states, the “DA” (“District Attorney”) is elected – sees things from another angle. On the one hand, because the payment made to Michaël Cohen, who admitted the facts, appears in the accounts of Donald Trump’s company as “legal fees” in the form of cash advances, which corresponds to a falsification (an offense). On the other hand, because this transfer can be considered as being, in fact, a campaign expense. Failure to declare it as such would fall under electoral law, a criminal offense punishable by up to 4 years in prison.

For Donald Trump, who concedes having paid this sum to Michaël Cohen, but denies that it was used to buy the silence of the actress, this indictment would only be a new episode of the “witch hunt” which he claims to be the victim since his first steps in the White House. As usual, he defends himself by attacking: the ex-president accuses Alvin Bragg, born in Harlem and a Harvard law graduate, of ” racism “. He also believes that he is working in collusion with the Biden administration, in order to remove him from the race for the White House.

Denials and attack of the ex-president

This time again, the former president delivers his attacks without the slightest proof. For him, this is the perfect opportunity to mobilize his base against the “radical left”. This strategy, well established, had paid off during his two impeachments, from which he emerged acquitted by the Senate. And it could be again if Alvin Bragg and his team failed to convince the jurors of Donald Trump’s guilt.

A completely plausible hypothesis. Because, in the general opinion, the case is far from being heard from a legal point of view. Would failure to report this “campaign expense” be a crime under state law, or federal law, beyond the jurisdiction of Alvin Bragg? Isn’t the falsification of accounts, moreover, covered by the prescription, five years in New York for this type of offence? By indicting Donald Trump, the Democratic prosecutor would play big: if he were to draw a blank, it is a reinvigorated candidate who would come out of court.


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