Alvin Bragg Slowly Realizes His Trump Indictment Is Going to Backfire, and He's Getting Desperate

AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez

Alvin Bragg can’t say he’s the best, but he can say he’s first. That was obviously the motivation behind his highly questionable indictment of Donald Trump on state-level charges for miscategorizing a hush money payment to Stormy Daniels.

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In early April, Bragg moved forward under a novel legal theory that supposes he can elevate a misdemeanor that has already passed the statute of limitations to a felony under the idea that Trump committed the misdemeanor in service of another crime. What is the other alleged crime? A federal campaign finance law that Bragg has no jurisdiction over and which the Department of Justice has already decided not to pursue because it’s so laughable.

Despite the weakness of the case, Bragg rushed to the podium anyway to proclaim his triumph. Glowing press pieces and cable news hits followed. His profile had been sufficiently juiced, and he was on his way to bigger and better things.

But when you fly too close to the sun, your wings eventually melt off, and Bragg is slowly realizing his plan is going to backfire.

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Let me translate that for you: Out of all the Trump indictments, filed or soon-to-be filed, Braggs is by far the dumbest and most likely to fail. Given that, he does not want to be the first prosecutor to hand the former president a massive PR victory so he’s now desperately looking for a way to let the DOJ’s cases go to trial first.

Bragg knows that the federal cases against Trump, politically biased and selective as they may be, are far stronger on legal grounds. If he ends up taking his case to trial in March of 2024 as currently scheduled, he stands a good chance of losing and going from hero to goat while also tainting the federal indictments.

That’s why you are seeing Bragg suggest that he’ll work with the judge to delay his case out of a “broad look at what justice requires.” In fact, I’d posit that he doesn’t just want to postpone his prosecution of Trump, he wants to end it completely. He just doesn’t want to end it yet.

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Think about it. If the DOJ garners convictions with its charges, Bragg has his out. He can say that justice has been served and that there’s no reason to waste resources continuing his pursuit of the former president. In doing so, he gets to brag about the fact that he was first to the ballpark while not actually having to walk up to the plate and swing the bat. It’s a win-win for him politically, and Bragg clearly has aspirations for higher office.

If the judge in the case isn’t inclined to delay the trial upon request, I’d look for Bragg to make other moves to force the issue, whether that be various motions or introducing new charges. There’s just no way he can take the risk of being the first loser, even if the judge and jury are likely to be favorable to him.

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