Bragg brings a criminal case back from dead, but may have reanimated Trump’s chances

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NY Post

“It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive . . . it’s moving . . . IT’S ALIVE!” The scene from the 1931 movie “Frankenstein” came to mind this week as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg prepared an indictment of former President Donald Trump. It is the ultimate gravedigger charge, where Bragg unearthed a case from 2016 and, through a series of novel steps, is seeking to bring it back to life. Of course, like the good doctor, Bragg shows little concern over what he has created in his Frankenstein indictment. Bragg is combining parts from both state and federal codes. He is reportedly going to convert a misdemeanor for falsifying financial records into a prosecution of a federal crime. The federal crime is reportedly the failure to report a payment of $130,000 to former porn star Stormy Daniels to hush up an affair. That was just before the presidential election and Bragg is alleging that it was an effective campaign donation. Bragg is attempting something that many lawyers think is as improbable as the reanimation of the dead. The Justice Department itself declined this prosecution and both the former chair of the Federal Election Commission and various election law experts have thrown shade on the theory. Not only did Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus Vance, not bring this case, but Bragg himself stopped the prosecution. It was after one of Bragg’s lead prosecutors resigned and wrote a book on prosecuting Trump that pressure became too much for the district attorney, who grabbed his shovel and went to work. There are serious challenges to this prosecution, including an argument that time has expired under the statute of limitations. The limit is two years for a misdemeanor and, even if he can convert this into a felony, it is not clear if he can meet the longer five-year limitation. Bragg will have to convince a court that Trump paid the hush money for the sole purpose of the election.

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