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The Brief

The Brief: The Madness In Bragg’s “Alice In Wonderland” Case Against Trump

Gregg is joined by Counsel and Senior Adviser to former President Trump, Boris Epshteyn.

Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images

Alvin Bragg must have snoozed and snored his way through the constitutional law class at Harvard.  Did he even pass?  What grade did he get?  Maybe an “F” is a passing grade there.  That’s the only explanation.

Not only did the Manhattan district attorney fail to assert the underlying crime for which he charged Donald Trump, but in a stupefying news conference he informed reporters that the law doesn’t require him to do so.  Yes, it does.  A half-awake first year law student knows that.

Maybe Harvard doesn’t teach the meaning of that pesky document called “The Bill of Rights.”  The Sixth Amendment requires that a defendant be told the specific law he has violated and the exact crime he supposedly committed.  As far back as 1876, the U.S. Supreme Court made it clear that an accused is entitled to know what he’s done wrong in order to defend himself.  It’s called due process.

But in Bragg’s fantasy world of Alice in Wonderland, no such right exists.  The “Mad Hatter” DA took a minor bookkeeping misdemeanor and pumped it up to a felony by arguing that then-candidate Trump falsified business records in 2016 “with intend to defraud and intent to commit another crime.”  What crime?  Who was defrauded?  No one knows, least of all the defendant.  And Bragg refuses to say.

Like “Charades,” it’s a fun guessing game for people of all ages.  Except the loser gets to spend time behind bars.

Any fair and competent judge with an IQ slightly above 85 would have torn up the Trump indictment before it ever emerged from the grand jury room.  It was constitutionally defective on its face and terminally deficient.

Unfortunately for Trump, New York judges are known less for their legal acumen and more for their political bias that runs in only one direction —liberal.  Hence, Judge Juan Merchan seems utterly unbothered by a fallacious indictment that obliterates the rights of the accused.  Such contempt for the rule of law is par for the course in Merchan’s courtroom.

Forget about His Honor’s puny contributions to progressive groups like “Stop Republicans” and the cash he gave to the defendant’s political opponent, Joe Biden, in 2020.  Sure, it’s a clear violation of judicial ethics (Section 100.5 of the NY Code of Judicial Conduct) and grounds for misconduct charges.  But Merchan’s prejudicial and partisan rulings in other Trump-related cases are a tutorial on judicial contortions.  He should be booted from the case “for cause.”  The defense would be wise to exercise this right in a pre-trial motion for recusal.

Merchan hasn’t cornered the market on ethical demolitions.  Bragg committed the worst kind of prosecutorial abuse when he promised voters that he would indict and convict Trump if elected.  He had no access to the files and knew nothing about the evidence.  Yet, he prejudiced the case and preordained an outcome just to worm his way into office.  And it worked.  Now, he’s vying to fulfill his campaign pledge and advance his slimy career.

Once he was sworn in, Bragg scoured the law books to find an offense he could pin on the former president.  He was chasing Trump, not crimes.  Therein lies the DA’s dilemma.  No crime exists, which is why he has resorted to inventing one but won’t tell the defendant what it is.  In his press briefing, he vaguely alluded to federal campaign finance laws over which he has no jurisdictional authority whatsoever.  He copied and pasted the same accusation 34 times, only altering the dates.  Replicating a singular transaction nearly three dozen times underscores its absurdity.

Bragg’s political motive for persecuting Trump was laid bare by his former assistant, Mark Pomerantz, who penned a tell-all book boasting that Trump had to be stopped because “he posed a real danger to the country and to the ideals that mattered to me.”  This is precisely what prosecutors are duty-bound not to do.  Targeting a person because you despise him personally and loathe his political views are grounds for disbarment.  It is selective prosecution and prosecutorial misconduct in the extreme.

Congressman Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is investigating Bragg and his unscrupulous cronies.  Jordan correctly suspects that the DA’s indictment of the leading candidate running against Bragg’s party is a deliberate attempt to interfere in a presidential election that voters should decide, not a crummy local prosecutor with a dishonest agenda.

Moreover, Bragg seeks to criminalize campaign finance laws by usurping the power of federal prosecutors who already concluded that the payments in question to a porn actress were not criminal at all.  And Bragg used federal money support his witch hunt.

Even people on the left are openly fretting how the Trump indictment is legally decrepit and politically motivated.  When you lose your cheerleading squad…there’s something crooked about the game.  And the players.

One of them is Michael Cohen, the disgraced and disbarred ex-lawyer for Trump.  Among misfits and miscreants, Cohen is in a class of his own.  He’s a notorious perjurer who went to prison for lying to the IRS, lying to banks, and lying to congress.  He’s so sleazy he gives scoundrels a bad name.  On cross-examination, he’ll be chopped into mincemeat.

And then there’s Stormy Daniels.  If you want to know what a dullard she is, check out her recent interview with Piers Morgan on Fox Nation.  She referred to Trump’s “crimes against me.”  Really?  What crimes?  It’s not against the law to have consensual sex.  Under no construction of the facts is Stormy a victim of a crime.  To the contrary, one could argue that she is the perpetrator of a crime.  It’s known as extortion.

Daniels threatened to go public with the alleged affair —which Trump denies— unless she was paid a load of money.  Demands for cash accompanied by threats and coercion is extortion.  There is an inviolate line between legal bargaining and criminality.  She appears to have crossed it.  It was always a mistake for Trump’s idiot lawyer, Cohen, to capitulate.  He should have gone to law enforcement and filed a formal extortion complaint.  Now, Stormy is impersonating a victim.  In reality, she resembles a villain.

Pure as the driven snow she is not.  Let’s review.  Daniels claims to have had an affair with a married man almost two decades ago.  Then, a decade later —just as he was running for president— she tried to shake him down for money.  And, indeed, she succeeded.  Thereafter, she broke the terms of the non-disclosure agreement she executed by writing a trashy book and giving a mindless interview to “60 Minutes.”

Stormy is hardly a paragon of virtue.  Or reliability.  She famously contradicted herself.  In January of 2018, she signed and released a public statement insisting that she never once had a sexual relationship with Trump.  Now, she claims that she lied in the signed letter and did have sex.  So, which was the falsehood?  Which was the lie?  The first one or the second one?  They can’t both be true.

No semi-intelligent prosecutor would be foolish enough to put Daniels on the witness stand.  She would self-immolate in a nano-second.  But Bragg appears the fool, so perhaps we’ll see Stormy in the courtroom all dressed up as “Marian the Librarian.”

Daniels has every motive to lie.  I wonder how she’ll explain her defamation lawsuit against Trump.  The case spectacularly flamed out, and the court ordered her to pay Trump’s legal fees.  In all, she owes him more than $600,000.  Unrepentant, Stormy declared, “I will go to jail before I pay a penny.”  Not a bad idea.  Toss her in the hoosegow.

It’s truly amazing how the mainstream media has lionized this porn actress.  My old friend and colleague, Megan Kelly, quipped that the press treats her like Joan of Arc.  The once-respected Vogue magazine gave Stormy a splashy spread.  Naturally, Daniels adores the attention, trying to monetize her tacky tale in any way that she can.

Stormy told Morgan that she yearns to testify against Trump.  Of course she does.  She dreams of taking center stage.  Like the washed-up Norma Desmond character in “Sunset Blvd.,” you can almost hear Daniels announce with confidence, “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille!”

After that, the insufferable Norma was taken into custody and shipped off to jail.  That would be a fitting end to this sordid melodrama starring Stormy Daniels.