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The jackals of the left were loving the very idea of it: Former President Donald Trump, brought so low that he was dragged into a courtroom to finally face the justice they never doubted he deserved.
And whoever did it, he would be considered a hero. What a coincidence — it happened during Holy Week! Even the secular left could see something supernatural in that. Whatever the case, there would be much rejoicing at the ignoble, lowly state to which Trump had been brought. Smiles, cheers, toasts!
Wait until we see the mugshot! Wherever there still exist maypoles, you would no doubt find watchers of “The View” dancing circles around them on Tuesday, the day Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg schlepped our former president into a courtroom.
If there was merriment to be found, however, it was just that there was an indictment. The old legal adage proved correct: Bragg had indeed convinced a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich.
The unsealed indictment was so disappointing that even former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe — an avowed Trump enemy who was fired back in March 2018 by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and is now a CNN analyst — told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the case Bragg had against the 45th president “simply isn’t there.”
“Now, it’s possible that the DA has an elaborate and solid theory that’s backed up by a lot of evidence and he has just decided to conceal that at this point. That would be, I think it’s a strange decision on his part. But nevertheless, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt,” McCabe said.
The problem with that, of course, is that when push comes to shove in the American legal system, it’s not the prosecutor who gets the benefit of the doubt.
And as for Bragg bringing Trump low, as Fox News pointed out during its coverage of the indictment, the former president showed the DA that he remains unbowed — and he’s going to war against someone who, it became apparent once the indictment was unsealed, doesn’t have much of a legal arsenal to play with.
Jake Gibson, the network’s producer for federal law enforcement coverage, told Fox News that, as the day’s proceedings were coming to a close, “former President Trump definitely glared at the DA Bragg when he left.”
“He seemed to get up, look around the room — because, you know, he walked in — Trump was the last to walk in the hearing,” Gibson said.
The comment comes about the 7:30 mark in the interview below:
“And this was pretty intense,” Gibson said. “I mean, it’s not a huge room, but there’s probably 50 reporters in there. There were 15, 20, 25 law enforcement officials that were on the end of each row, so we couldn’t really see that well … It was very intense in there.”
And yet, the former president apparently sought Bragg out to stare him down.
Federal Law Enforcement Producer Jake Gibson: “Former President Trump definitely glared at the DA Bragg when he left.” pic.twitter.com/v2IyTntozI
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) April 4, 2023
Gibson had more details, including the fact that, “very interestingly, the prosecution wants this to go to trial in January of 2024.
“And you know what else is in January of 2024,” he said, at about the two-minute mark in the interview. “It’s primary season for the presidential election.”
While Trump’s team wants to “push it further out,” Gibson said, the judge wanted the trial to happen “expeditiously.”
Eye-witness reporter from inside courtroom during Trump’s arraignment reveals EVERYTHING that happened… pic.twitter.com/vQglNohcfa
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) April 4, 2023
However, the detail that got the most attention was the glowering:
“Former President Trump definitely glared at the DA Bragg when he left.” pic.twitter.com/Sia4e0ewDl
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) April 4, 2023
Not only did the former president refuse to just duck in and duck out of the hearing — inasmuch as he even could manage to do such a thing — he made sure that Bragg knew it was on.
The libs, in other words, didn’t get a contrite or embarrassed Trump on Tuesday. And Alvin Bragg got a bit of a headache, because every left-bubble Twitter user who spent the last few days snidely remarking that conservatives ought to wait until the indictment was unsealed to see how strong Bragg’s case was had learned, along with the rest of us, that it was the exact same dubious case that was first reported last Thursday.
“Earlier this afternoon, Donald Trump was arraigned on a New York Supreme Court indictment returned by a Manhattan grand jury on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree,” Bragg said after the arraignment, according to Fox News.
“Under New York state law, [it] is a felony to falsify business records with intent to defraud and intent to conceal another crime. That is exactly what this case is about. Thirty-four false statements made to cover up other crimes,” Bragg continued. “These are felony crimes in New York state. No matter who you are, we cannot and will not normalize serious criminal conduct.”
Therein lies the problem, however. The case relies, as you’ve doubtlessly heard, on payments made to an adult film star who goes by the nom du porn of Stormy Daniels in 2016 in order to secure a non-disclosure agreement regarding claims Daniels made that the two had a sexual encounter. In financial statements, Trump listed the payments, which were conducted via former lawyer (and convicted felon) Michael Cohen, as legal fees.
Falsifying financial records is merely a misdemeanor in New York state, which has a two-year statute of limitations. For it to become a state felony, it has to be in the concealment of another crime — which, as former federal prosecutor and National Review contributor Andrew C. McCarthy noted, is in this case felony campaign finance violations.
“That is, there would have to be some other crime, Trump would have to have known that, and he would have to have acted with the intent to conceal that crime,” McCarthy wrote in a March 31 piece.
“It would be hard to quantify how outrageous that allegation would be. Campaign-finance violations are federal. When the New York penal law refers to concealing ‘another crime,’ it is plainly talking about another New York state crime,” he continued. [Italics in original]
“The Manhattan district attorney has no jurisdiction to enforce federal campaign-finance statutes. Moreover, the Department of Justice and the Federal Election Commission — the federal agencies that do have jurisdiction in this area — looked at the Stormy Daniels hush-money arrangement and opted not to proceed against Trump.”
And lo and behold, that’s exactly what the indictment was. So much for the “wait-for-it-to-be-unsealed” crowd.
Trump, who pleaded innocent during Tuesday’s hearing, didn’t just confine his Bragg-slamming to in-court glowers, either.
“I never thought anything like this could happen in America. I never thought it could happen,” Trump said during Tuesday night remarks back home at the Mar-a-Lago Club in South Florida, according to Fox News. “The only crime that I have committed is to fearlessly defending our nation from those who seek to destroy it.”
Dance around the maypole all you want for the moment, libs.
Tuesday’s hearing confirmed what should be every Democrat’s worst fear: The indictment is weak and jurisdictionally challenged, the prosecutor couldn’t come up with any new or convincing argument the case should be brought, and Trump is going to fight like hell.
It may have been just a glare, but it’s a glare that should tell onlookers everything they need to know about the chances this succeeds in bringing the former president low.
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