Trump’s MAGA apologists show their 'demagoguery' with bogus attacks on DA Bragg: ex-federal prosecutor
If former President Donald Trump does face some type of criminal indictment in 2023, it could come from either a federal or state prosecutor. The possibilities range from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and special counsel Jack Smith to Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney Fani Willis to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Jr.
Smith is conducting two separate Trump-related investigations: one on government documents being stored at Mar-a-Lago, the other pertaining to the January 6, 2021 insurrection. Willis, meanwhile, has been probing Trump's efforts to overturn Democratic President Joe Biden's victory in Georgia after the 2020 election. But it is Bragg's investigation of alleged hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels that Trump claimed would lead to his arrest on Tuesday, March 21. Trump, in fact, was not arrested that day, but Bragg's investigation continues.
Trump's army of defenders, from right-wing media pundits to Republicans in Congress, have been attacking Bragg relentlessly. And former federal prosecutor Dennis Aftergut, who now serves as counsel for the group Lawyers Defending American Democracy, slams "MAGA" attacks on Bragg as disingenuous in a biting article published by the conservative website The Bulwark on March 22.
READ MORE:Donald Trump attacks 'racist' Alvin Bragg and 'horseface' Stormy Daniels in social media rant
"Over the weekend," Aftergut explains, "MAGA Republicans trotted out their talking points on the anticipated New York indictment of Donald Trump for the $130,000 hush-money payment he made to Stormy Daniels on the eve of the 2016 election. If the allegations are true, buying her silence to prevent a second Access Hollywood-type scandal — the payment was allegedly made days after that infamous recording was released — may well have preserved his ultimately successful bid for the presidency."
The former federal prosecutor notes that Trump defenders in Congress who have been attacking Bragg range from House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). McCarthy described Bragg's probe as "political vengeance." And in a performative letter to Bragg dated March 20, 2023, Jordan — along with Rep. James Comer (R-Kentucky) and Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Wisconsin) — accused Bragg of committing "an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority."
"Much as Trump rival (Florida Gov.) Ron DeSantis must savor the opportunity to take political advantage of his competitor's prosecutorial misfortune — which he did by referring multiple times on Monday, (March 20) to the sordid specifics of Trump's alleged wrongdoing — the Florida governor also felt compelled to join the anti-Bragg fray," Aftergut observes. "DeSantis said that when a prosecutor goes after hush money paid to a porn star 'many, many years ago,' it's 'pursuing a political agenda and weaponizing the office.'"
Aftergut goes on to explain why MAGA talking points against Bragg and other prosecutors are bogus.
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"In effect," the attorney argues, "Republicans are suggesting that Alvin Bragg wouldn't prosecute Joe Biden if Biden had bribed a porn star with whom he'd had an affair to keep her quiet just days before his election…. As for the suggestion that in political cases, the Manhattan DA prosecutes only Republicans, perhaps those drafting the MAGA talking points should check the record. In 2015, Bragg was the prosecutor who convicted Democratic State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Anthony Smith for public corruption and bribery…. Demagoguery is never a good look, and sooner or later, it's politically self-destructive. In November 2024, these Republican demolitionists may find it's their House majority that voters decide to flatten."
READ MORE:'Purely political attack': Jim Jordan demands Alvin Bragg testify about anticipated Donald Trump indictments
Read Dennis Aftergut's full article for The Bulwark at this link.
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