Missouri AG Andrew Bailey Rips Alvin Bragg and Manhattan DA's Office in Judiciary Hearing Remarks

AP Photo/David A. Lieb

The House Judiciary Committee is set to hold a hearing Thursday morning regarding the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. In what is sure to be a rather lively proceeding in light of recent events, the committee has called three witnesses to testify: Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R), Federal Election Commissioner Trey Trainor, and Baker Hostetler attorney Elizabeth Price Foley. The committee bills the hearing as follows: 

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The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Thursday, June 13, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. ET to examine Alvin Bragg's political prosecution of President Trump. With his unprecedented politicized indictment of President Trump, Manhattan District Attorney Bragg has opened the door for politically motivated prosecutions of federal officials by state and local prosecutors. Other ambitious state prosecutors have already followed Bragg's lead and pursued politically motivated indictments of President Trump.

On April 4, 2023, after campaigning on his experience in investigating President Trump and in response to intense pressure from left-wing activists, Bragg charged President Trump with 34 felony counts for falsifying business records. Falsifying business records is ordinarily a misdemeanor subject to a two-year statute of limitations, which would have expired long ago. While Bragg is systematically downgrading most felonies in Manhattan to misdemeanors, he used a novel and untested legal theory—previously declined by federal prosecutors—to upgrade the charges against President Trump to felonies. Bragg's case against President Trump has beset by due process and procedural irregularities.

 Ahead of the hearing, Bailey released his prepared remarks — and he pulls no punches in them. 

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The full remarks may be viewed here, but following is just a sampling: 

The people of the State of Missouri, whom I am tasked with protecting, watched in horror recently as the left’s direct assault on President Trump manifested itself in the form of a politically motivated, legally specious, and corrupt prosecution of the President, which resulted in an errant criminal conviction. We are a nation of laws that define who we are as a people, that establish systems of checks and balances to protect individuals from persecution, and that are supposed to be equally enforced and equally applied. Instead, the left has prioritized its hatred of President Trump above the rule of law.

To put it plainly, the left hates President Trump more than they love this country. Government officials at the federal and state levels have censored President Trump, filed civil suits in order to sanction him, illegally removed him from the ballot, and perverted the law in order to prosecute him. This is a strategic attack against a former President of the United States, against a current candidate for President, and against the value we as a Nation place on our system of government, our legal system, and our very identity. The term lawfare, while apt, fails to adequately convey the moral depravity underpinning this strategic attack. I encourage this body to address each tactical front in the broader conflict provoked by lawfare. 

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Bailey outlines numerous flaws inherent in the prosecution:

  1. Failing to uphold the rules of professional conduct by which prosecutors are bound
  2. Failing to specify the other crime Trump was alleged to have committed/intended to commit in falsifying the business records, such that his Sixth Amendment rights were violated
  3. Seeking a gag order in violation of Trump's First Amendment rights 
  4. Perverting the law to meet the facts rather than objectively applying the law
  5. Failing to require unanimity from the jury on the predicate offense(s)

He continues, noting the tangled web of funding and coordination between federal and state entities.

Bragg’s charges were widely viewed as transparently superficial across the political spectrum. Liberal law professor Jed Shugerman, for example, took to the New York Times to point out that the New York indictment did not even specify the “crime” Trump was accused of committing that would turn a misdemeanor business records offense into a felony. It is no wonder then that other prosecutors—both state and federal—who considered going after President Trump for the same records ultimately declined to prosecute.

Bragg’s decision to bring the case in spite of its obvious weaknesses nonetheless had the effect of keeping former President Trump off the campaign trail, which President Biden bragged about. The official Biden-Harris campaign account on X said on April 24th of this year: “While Trump is stuck in court, President Biden is keeping a very robust schedule of campaign events. He’s been to Pennsylvania to talk about the economy, Virginia to talk about clean energy, and Florida to talk about abortion.”

Given the timing (Bragg charged Trump only after Trump declared his candidacy for President), the transparent weakness of the charges, and the effect the charges have in keeping Trump off the campaign trail, there is substantial reason to suspect the Biden administration has coordinated with Bragg and others to bring prosecutions against Trump. 

And that was only New York. These facts, coupled with the federal and state prosecutions that have yet to play out, display a level of collusion never seen before between a corrupt Department of Justice and illicitly motivated state prosecutors. I believe the investigations and subsequent prosecutions of Trump have been illegally conducted in coordination with the Department of Justice. That is why my office demanded communications between the DOJ and Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, New York Attorney General Letitia James, Special Prosecutor Jack Smith or Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis related to the investigation or prosecution of former President Donald J. Trump. That request for documents includes calendar appointments, meeting minutes, and agendas.

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No doubt there will be heated exchanges in this proceeding — expect the Democrats on the committee to do their level best to run cover for Bragg and the DOJ. You may watch the hearing, which begins at 10:00 am Eastern, here: 

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