Alvin Bragg’s Theater of the Absurd: Inside Trump’s Farce of a Trial


by Jeff Childers

Keeping up with the Trump trials is much like cat counting, and trying to report on all the cases is like trying to herd a pack of aloof but somehow still-lovable fuzzy critters around. Either way, it’s that time again, time for the latest in a long series of Trump prosecution events. It’s like Survivor; will Trump be voted off Riker’s Island this time?

The UK Guardian ran a terrifically tedious story yesterday headlined, “Donald Trump’s criminal trial over hush money to begin in New York.” This morning, despite Trump’s legal team’s best efforts to delay it, puffed-up Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg will begin his farcical trial of Donald Trump for the victimless crime of “falsifying business records.” This case is even stupider and lamer than the last theory oozing out of New York’s courts about Trump’s undervalued real estate. Behold the genius who came up with this latest idea:

The case’s star witness is a now-disbarred criminal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who used to work for Trump back when people still thought Cohen was a real New York lawyer. And, when I said Cohen was a “criminal lawyer,” I don’t mean he practiced criminal defense. I mean that he was a lawyer who was also a criminal. That’s not a metaphor; Cohen wound up doing time.

And in Cohen’s case, there were actual victims.

Anyway, Cohen will testify that twelve days before the 2016 election, while Cohen was representing Trump, Cohen — not Trump — bought non-disclosure agreements from two … er, female performers, who at the time were going around shopping stale but sordid stories of having once grappled with the President ages ago. The alleged ‘Trump Tales’ were mild compared to other political Don Juans like Bill Clinton, Hunter Biden, or even John F. Kennedy, but Cohen will say he thought it could be politically damaging.

So he paid $280,000 for the two NDAs and the rights to the ladies’ stories.

As a lawyer, I must pause here and note that it would be unusual to the point of disbelief for any attorney to advance any significant amount of money for a client in the way Cohen claims. Lawyers aren’t banks.

Then after the election, Trump paid Cohen eleven monthly retainer checks which do not add up to $280,000, but apparently was close enough for District Attorney Bragg, so he and Cohen now claim Trump was really reimbursing the lawyer for the NDA money Cohen had paid to the two “actresses” (and I use that term loosely).

This is the point where Bragg’s case rockets away from Planet Reality. District Attorney Bragg’s criminal indictment complains not about any of the alleged facts I just mentioned. Bragg doesn’t care about Trump’s sex life, his paying to shut up a couple blabbering strippers, or even Trump’s repeated denials of the encounters (even if they happened).

No, Alvin Bragg’s mental toilet water drained down to just this: On the little memo line of the eleven checks he wrote to Mr. Cohen, Trump put something like, “for legal services.” Which apparently in New York is a major felonious event justifying upending the country. Here’s how the Guardian described the legal effect of Trump not writing something like “for reimbursing an NDA” in the memo line instead:

By casting these payments as compensation for legal work, President Trump “made and caused a false entry in the business records of an enterprise”, prosecutors said. Trump did so “with intent to defraud and intent to commit another crime and aid and conceal the commission thereof … ’

Falsifying business records is only a felony if DA Bragg can prove that the “mischaracterization” was intended to facilitate another crime, which is also a felony. The larger crime Bragg is shooting for here, a crime with which he has never charged Trump, is failing to properly report campaign expenses. Bragg’s theory — if you can call it that — is that Trump’s intent — the intent inside his own brain — when he wrote down “for legal expenses” was to make sure the payments were left off his quarterly presidential campaign finance reports.

I am not making that up; that’s Bragg’s whole case.

Here’s your pretrial quick-reference checklist:

  1. Prosecutors may have indicted many ham sandwiches, but nobody has ever criminally prosecuted a president or former president before, much less a State District Attorney.
  2. Inexperienced DA Alvin Bragg has never prosecuted a campaign finance violation before.
  3. DA Alvin Bragg has never prosecuted a “falsified business records” case before either.
  4. Bragg’s novel legal theory has never been used to convict anyone else before, not in New York or anywhere else.
  5. Bragg never even charged Trump with the campaign reporting violation, just the business records thing.
  6. Bragg stretched the few facts like taffy into thirty four separate criminal counts.
  7. To convict, Bragg must prove Trump’s internal mental intentions beyond a reasonable doubt.
  8. DA Bragg is a grotesque, unqualified, woke, Soros-funded, democrat machine prosecutor who is new to the job and ran on a “Get Trump” platform.
  9. This is Trump’s first … no, second … er, third … oh, nevermind. They’ve sued him a lot. This is the President’s first criminal case of four to go to trial. If it’s not political persecution, then nobody even knows what that is.
  10. All four criminal cases against Trump, including this one, are founded on victimless process crimes.

In this case, Trump’s team is expected to argue that the payments were personal expenses and not campaign-related expenses, that any alleged misclassification was unintentional, that the prosecution was politically-motivated, and that Bragg cannot prove the necessary intent to prove concealment of an actual crime as opposed to just an embarrassing but perfectly lawful personal expense that celebrities often encounter.

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I would be in Favor of stranded that Pinhead Bragg in the French Alps without a nothing his and Soros with just the clothes on their backs