Donald J. Trump predicted last weekend that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office would seek his arrest three days ago. Not only has this not happened, but indeed it might never happen. We know this because Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan DA, has openly said Trump created a false expectation of his arrest. And he said it after a series of embarrassments that must make Robert Morgenthau wish he could reach from beyond the grave to fire him.
What happened to the case against Trump?
Alvin Bragg apparently sought to build his case against Trump on the testimony of Michael Cohen, who had allegedly accused Trump in the past of paying off a woman with whom he’d allegedly had an affair, just to help his 2020 campaign. But Robert Costello, who had once been Cohen’s lawyer, disputed that. Worse, he accused Bragg of withholding documentary evidence exonerating Trump completely. Twitter influencer Colin Rugg tweeted a link to another take on this story.
See also this tweet from Monday evening:
Professor Alan Dershowitz, commenting on this matter, said:
He may not be able to make it without Cohen, but if he can’t make it without Cohen, he can’t make it, because no ethical prosecutor is allowed to put on as a witness somebody who has told the lies and has contradicted himself so much.
As a likely direct result of this revelation, the New York County grand jury canceled its Wednesday meeting. Then yesterday, several reports broke, revealing a letter, dated February 8, 2018, from another lawyer, Stephen M. Ryan. In addition to this report from American Action News, we have this Twitter thread from Benny Johnson:
Immediately a strictly local news anchor, Ed Greenberger, tried to dispute the letter – but another user called him out.
Alvin now says what?
And now comes this absurdity, from Reuters through Yahoo! News. Another Twitter user shared it:
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Speaker of the House, demanded an investigation of what he called a politically motivated prosecution.
The chairmen of three U.S. House committees took McCarthy up on this. They sent Bragg a letter “seeking communications, documents and testimony from him.”
Bragg seems to be refusing. Reuters partially quotes his reply to them:
[Your accusations against my office] only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day and his lawyers reportedly urged you to intervene.
A false impression? If that were true, why didn’t Bragg immediately deny that he was about to demand extradition of Trump from Florida?
In any case, two Members of Congress have said Bragg should be subject to arrest for withholding evidence. They are Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).
Worse yet, Alvin Bragg might not even have the votes in this grand jury. This is stunning, because grand juries usually indict on a prosecutor’s word and leave it to the trial court to sort out guilt or innocence. Apparently, not this time.
Alvin Bragg’s letter back to Representatives Jordan, Comer and Steil virtually proves that he is retreating from his stance. Never once did he suggest that Trump was overreacting – until the 2018 Michael Cohen letter surfaced. Now he faces an accusation of withholding evidence – the most serious misconduct of which a prosecutor is capable.
So now he says he never intended to arrest Trump? Are we to believe that? If so, CNAV has a partnership stake in a bridge spanning the East River which we would like to offer for sale.
More likely his case is falling apart. When he can’t even assure himself of the votes of a grand jury, he has no case. So rather than call the whole thing off – which would eliminate the risk of his getting his ears pinned back for withholding evidence – he suspends the grand jury until next week.
Obviously Alvin ran this case up the flagpole to see who and how many would salute it. Apparently a majority of this grand jury is not saluting it. That might or might not be the result of accusations of withholding evidence, and the 2018 Michael Cohen letter. His puerile reply to Reps. Jordan, Comer and Steil looks like an attempt to walk back his threat.
But the people of New York City should really be ashamed of themselves. They elected this poor excuse for a prosecuting attorney. Worse, they wanted Donald Trump to do the perp walk. Let the country see what they got instead.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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