Alvin Bragg Donald Trump

Jonathan Turley: Alvin Bragg Is Practically Making Trump’s Immunity Case for Him

DCNF(DCNF)—George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said Thursday that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg helped former President Donald Trump make his case for immunity.

New York Judge Juan Merchan ordered Trump to attend the trial regarding a $130,000 payout to porn star Stormy Daniels, meaning he cannot attend the Supreme Court’s oral arguments on presidential immunity set for Thursday. Turley said that Bragg’s prosecution may work against arguments special counsel Jack Smith will make.

“In some ways, having him in New York is the best argument he could put in front of the justices because Alvin Bragg is making the case for him,” Turley said. “I mean, as the court considers the implications of not extending immunity to presidents, Alvin Bragg is showing what that means.”

“This is a highly political, in my view, legally absurd case in Manhattan, and it is playing out as the court considers the implications of this type of prosecution, and so for the court, I think it’s only going to reinforce this idea that we don’t necessarily want to go to either extreme, but perhaps there is a nuanced or middle road here where we can afford some protection to a president for actions taken related to their office,” Turley continued.

Smith secured a four-count indictment against Trump in August related to the former president’s alleged efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 election. Trump’s attorneys accused Smith in February of having “a political motive” to try the case before the 2024 presidential election, which former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy noted after Turley’s comments.

“The fact that there seems like there’s a crisis and there’s criticism of the court that they didn’t get to this fast enough is not over a legal imperative, it’s over a political imperative where you have Democratic prosecutors, one in New York is an elected Democratic prosecutor, who decided that they wanted to get Trump on trial and by their life, hopefully convicted in the run-up to the election,” McCarthy said. “To my mind, if I’m the court, I’m actually put off by that. I don’t feel like a pressure to accelerate my consideration of the case, I resent the fact that I have been thrown gratuitously into a political context.”

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