'Just how gullible does Bragg think New Yorkers are?': Columnist blasts Manhattan DA for refusing to indict Donald Trump
MSNBC opinion columnist Glenn Kirschner penned a blistering editorial on Wednesday demanding that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg tell the public why he is refusing to indict former President Donald Trump for crimes related to his attempted theft of the 2020 election.
Kirschner, himself an ex-federal prosecutor, opined that Bragg has quite a bit of explaining to do.
"When we look at how Alvin Bragg has performed in his short time as Manhattan district attorney, he seems to be coming up short on all three fronts," he wrote.
The drama inside Bragg's office came to a head last month when Mark Pomerantz, a veteran federal prosecutor who was assisting Bragg's investigation into Trump, abruptly quit.
In his resignation letter, which was published in The New York Times on March 23rd, Pomerantz stated that Cy Vance – Bragg's predecessor – concluded that there was enough evidence for a jury to convict Trump beyond a reasonable doubt and that he had urged Bragg to “seek an indictment of Mr. Trump and other defendants as soon as reasonably possible.”
Bragg, however, ordered his team “not to go forward with the grand jury presentation and not to seek criminal charges at the present time.” Additionally, Bragg has refuted Pomerantz's account.
"Early reporting suggested Manhattan’s two top Trump prosecutors — Pomerantz and Carey Dunne — were leaving the District Attorney’s Office because Bragg had decided not to charge Trump. Bragg’s office has claimed that assertion is not true while simultaneously refusing to disclose the contents of the resignation letters or a timeline for the case," Kirschner said. "New Yorkers deserve to know whether Bragg has, indeed, dropped the case against Trump."
Pomerantz also unambiguously states in his letter that 'the team that has been investigating Mr. Trump harbors no doubt about whether he committed crimes — he did.' Of course, concluding that the target of an investigation committed crimes is only one part of the prosecutorial equation. Prosecutors also need enough admissible evidence to prove a prospective defendant’s guilt. Addressing this necessity, Pomerantz related, 'I and others have advised you that we have evidence sufficient to establish Mr. Trump’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and we believe that the prosecution would prevail if charges were brought.'
Bragg has assured the people of New York that, despite the resignations, 'there is a robust team working' on Manhattan’s Trump investigation. As part of that supposedly robust team, Bragg has assigned a new top prosecutor, Susan Hoffinger, who, Bragg promised, 'will lead the strong team that is in place' in the 'ongoing investigation' of Trump.
Is there, though? If so, New Yorkers have not been informed.
Kirschner's concern that Bragg intends to let Trump off the hook was compounded last week.
"On Friday, The Daily Beast reported that Bragg’s office appears to be returning evidence to the witnesses in the Trump investigation, calling the development 'the starkest sign yet that the Manhattan District Attorney’s investigation into Trump may be winding down.' Indeed, returning evidence obtained during a criminal investigation would signal that the case is robustly being dismantled, rather than robustly being pursued. Bragg’s actions undercut the credibility of his words and represent a third strike, this time for a lack of candor," wrote Kirschner.
"Just how gullible does Bragg think New Yorkers are?" he quipped before tearing into Bragg for stealthily denying justice to his community.
"The Manhattan DA needs to explain to his constituents what is really going on with the status of the criminal prosecution of Donald Trump. Absent a truthful, compelling, fact-based explanation, Bragg’s conduct echoes the frustrations of former Attorney General William Barr’s tenure, when Trump’s friends and criminal associates repeatedly escaped serious punishment," Kirschner continued.
He added that United States Attorney General Merrick Garland also owes the American people an explanation as to why – despite the overwhelming evidence of Trump's criminality that has been uncovered by the bipartisan House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol – the Department of Justice has yet to file charges against Trump and his coconspirators.
Kirschner noted, however, that "what distinguishes Bragg from Garland is that we now know how Bragg’s (former) prosecutors felt about the evidence against Trump. We’ve seen almost nothing from Garland or his team indicating any plan they may have to charge the former president — at least not yet."
The case against Trump grew stronger on Monday after a federal judge in California determined that he "likely attempted to obstruct the joint session of Congress" on January 6th, 2021, when he deployed his mob to disrupt the congressional certification of President Joe Biden's Electoral College victory in the 2020 election.
"That, of course, would also be a crime," Kirschner said.
"Trump has yet to respond to this most recent finding, although in the past he has denied and deflected similar allegations. And so, the cycle continues," he said. "Can someone please check American justice for a pulse?"
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