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Trump Hush Money Trial Is an ‘Embarrassment’ and a Case of Overreach, Says Expert

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s prosecution of former President Donald Trump has sparked controversy and criticism. 

In a New York Times opinion piece, Boston University law professor Jed Handelsman Shugerman described the move as a “historic mistake,” pointing out several legal flaws and strategic errors in Bragg’s approach.

Donald Trump faces more than two dozen charges related to allegedly falsifying business records, purportedly to conceal hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. 

As Trump contends with these accusations in court, the legal basis for the charges remains a point of contention.

Credits: DepositPhotos

Read More: Georgia DA’s Case Against Trump Crumbling, Analysts Predict Demise

Shugerman critiques Bragg’s decision to try a federal election crime under state law, labeling the strategy “vague” and unsupported by a solid legal framework, since the prosecution failed to specify “an election crime or a valid theory of fraud.”

He suggests a focus on the idea of a cover-up might have been more appropriate, citing issues with the timing of the alleged falsifications.

According to Shugerman, Trump’s records were possibly altered to create a misleading paper trail ahead of federal scrutiny. 

These changes, made early in 2017, could potentially point to an intent to defraud federal election authorities, a theory not currently pursued by Bragg’s team.

Shugerman argues that Bragg’s reliance on the Federal Election Campaign Act represents a significant overreach. 

Credits: DepositPhotos

Also Read: Trump’s Legal Team Wants To Go After Prosecution’s Witnesses in Hush Money Trial: ‘Simply Not Credible’

This approach is unprecedented and shaky, as it attempts to apply federal election law in a state court without clear precedents.

The lack of judicial precedents cited by the prosecutors for the specific statutes in question further weakens their case. 

Trump’s defense has highlighted this gap, arguing that the underlying crime must also be recognized under New York state law, a condition not met in this instance.

Another legal challenge is New York’s judicial history, which does not support interpretations of defrauding the general public in cases like this. 

This historical context suggests further complications for Bragg’s legal arguments.

The case’s implications extend beyond the courtroom, with Shugerman suggesting that the motivations behind the prosecution might be more political than legal. 

Credits: DepositPhotos

He describes the situation as a potential embarrassment for prosecutorial ethics, hinting at selective prosecution.

Shugerman adds that should the case reach the appellate courts, Trump might have a strong chance of overturning a conviction based on the prosecutorial missteps and exaggerated claims evident in the initial stages of the trial.

“This case is still an embarrassment of prosecutorial ethics and apparent selective prosecution,” he concluded.

As the trial progresses, the strategies and legal bases employed by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg will continue to undergo scrutiny. 

The outcome of this case could have significant repercussions for legal and political norms concerning the prosecution of high-profile figures in the United States.

Read Next: Setback for Trump as Judge Refuses To Delay New York Criminal Trial

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Malik is a skilled writer with a passion for news and current events. With their keen eye for detail, they provide insightful perspectives on the latest happenings. Stay informed and engaged!