Spotlight Back on Alvin Bragg After Trump Verdict


Republicans and Democrats have presented contrasting views about Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s decision to prosecute former President Donald Trump for falsifying business records.

On Thursday, Bragg made history as the first prosecutor in the U.S. to convict a former president, concluding a complex yearlong case.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks to the media after a jury found former President Donald Trump guilty of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, Thursday, May 30, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Critics argue that Bragg targeted Trump due to political disagreements and a desire to prevent him from seeking a second term.

Supporters argue that Bragg openly followed the paper trail in the hush money case, and his decision to indict the leading 2024 Republican presidential nominee was entirely evidence-based.

Although Bragg’s indictment was arguably the weakest among the four against Trump, he was the first to secure a conviction.

Bragg, a Democrat, campaigned on holding Trump and other influential New Yorkers accountable.

The previous DA, Cyrus Vance Jr., faced criticism for not charging powerful figures like Harvey Weinstein and two of Trump’s children, Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump Jr.

While running for office, Bragg emphasized his experience in investigating the Trump family.

“I have investigated Trump and his children and held them accountable for their misconduct with the Trump Foundation,” he said during a 2020 candidate forum.

He added, “It is a fact that I have sued Trump more than a hundred times. I can’t change that fact, nor would I. That was important work. That’s separate from anything that the DA’s office may be looking at now.”

Bragg succeeded Vance but also faced criticism for not immediately indicting Trump. Discontent within his office led some prosecutors to quit and speak out, pressuring Bragg to pursue what seemed a legally challenging case.

Bragg employed a complex strategy, embedding crimes within other crimes, which legal analysts saw as risky but ultimately effective.

Trump was convicted on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to conceal a hush money payment to an adult film actress during his 2016 campaign.

“I did my job, and we did our job,” Bragg stated at a news conference following the verdict. “There are many voices out there, but the only voice that matters is the voice of the jury, and the jury has spoken.”

Trump, claiming to be a political prisoner, vowed to appeal and argued that he was unfairly targeted for Bragg’s political gains. He accused billionaire donor George Soros of funding Bragg’s campaign and alleged that Bragg “campaigned on the fact that he would get President Trump.”

“This is a guy campaigning,” Trump said. “You want to get President Trump at any cost and this before he knew anything about me, didn’t know a thing about me. He was campaigning.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) called the verdict a “shameful day in American history” and criticized the trial as “a purely political exercise, not a legal one.”

Republicans from the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the weaponization of the federal government have requested Bragg and prosecutor Matthew Colangelo to testify on June 13 about the “unprecedented political prosecution” of Trump.

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), one of seven Senate Republicans who voted to convict Trump in a past impeachment, also defended Trump. She criticized the “political underpinnings” of the case, suggesting it blurred lines between the judicial and electoral systems.

“The district attorney, who campaigned on a promise to prosecute Donald Trump, brought these charges precisely because of who the defendant was rather than because of any specified criminal conduct,” she said in a statement.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) argued the trial eroded trust in the justice system, calling Bragg “a political hack prosecutor” who “manufactured charges in one of the most liberal legal venues in the country.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) summarized it simply: “If the defendant were not Donald Trump, this case would never have been brought.”

Bragg’s supporters point out his repeated statements about not prejudging the case before examining the facts.

Asked about Trump during a Hot 97 interview, Bragg said he wouldn’t hastily pursue a case against Trump.

“So I’m being careful not so much for running for office, but because every case does have to be judged on its facts, and I don’t know all the facts, right?” Bragg said. “And so I’ve been doing this for 20-plus years, so I want to be fair. But with that said, there’s a lot that’s out there publicly.”

John Nichols, author of It’s OK to Be Angry About Capitalism, disputed Trump’s claims of targeting by Bragg.

“Bragg never suggested that he would cut corners or be unfair when it came to bringing the felony case that would ultimately make Trump the first former president in US history to be a convicted felon,” he said. “What he promised was that he would not blink. He would not shy away from doing the job he was assigned by the electorate, and that he was duty-bound under the law to perform.

He added, “Bragg kept the promise that he made as a candidate to pursue equal justice under the law. And he did so with appropriate focus and determination.”

Barnini Chakraborty
Barnini Chakraborty
Senior Investigations Reporter. Barnini Chakraborty has previously worked at Fox News as a senior features and politics reporter. She's also worked at Fox Business as a field producer and at Dow Jones. She began her career at the Augusta Chronicle in Georgia.

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