A legal expert revealed the possibility of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg arresting former President Donald Trump — calling it “kind of like a banana republic” as he reportedly weighs an indictment.
Trump revealed over the weekend that he expects to be arrested on Tuesday in connection with the “hush money” payments to porn star Stormy Daniels back in 2016, citing “illegal leaks” from Bragg’s office and the Justice Department.
But many legal experts have cast doubt on the potential indictment, often arguing that there is little legal precedent, along with political motivation, surrounding the case.
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Former federal prosecutor Francey Hakes accused Bragg of politically weaponizing the law, acting like a “king” to indict the former president.
“This is a really serious time because this is kind of Banana Republic,” Francey said on “Fox & Friends Weekend.” “Using the law as a weapon against a political opponent is so wrong. That’s one of the main reasons why the United States formed and broke away from England because of all the injustice in the criminal justice system at the time from the King and that’s what’s happening here.”
“You have someone acting like a kingpin in Alvin Bragg, who has decided that because he doesn’t like a political opponent, he’s going to bend the law to get him,” she continued.
“NOW ILLEGAL LEAKS FROM A CORRUPT AND HIGHLY POLITICAL MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY, WHO HAS ALLOWED NEW PRINCIPALS IN VIOLENCE AND WHOSE LEADER IS FINANCED BY GEORGE SORASE, DOESN’T PROVIDE AN OLD AND COMPLETELY DISCONTINUED (OF NUMEROUS OTHER ALLEGATIONS!) FAIRYTALE, THE FAR AND AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE AND FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY NEXT WEEK!” Trump next week! wrote on Truth Social, Saturday.
The former president has been under investigation for years for the $130,000 payment to Daniels at the end of the 2016 election cycle. His former lawyer, Michael Cohen, facilitated the exchange and was reimbursed for the payment over time.
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Prosecutors may argue that the money was a violation of campaign finance laws, but critics, including Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina, argue that the funding was “personal” money and unrelated to the campaign.
Tacopina and other legal experts have argued that Bragg’s potential indictment hinges on uncharted legal waters, further indicating the political nature of the potential arrest.
“It’s hard to say it’s anything but political when you look at a DA in Manhattan who drops over 50% of the charges in the crime-ridden city on misdemeanors, and yet he’s managed to try to find a way around the statute to limitations where cases would normally be barred, to put a felony in a misdemeanor that might be a state felony, might be a federal felony,” Hakes said.
“The feds refused to prosecute, the Federal Election Commission refused to prosecute, but Alvin Bragg believes he has a crime here,” she continued. – I think it seems political to me.
Bragg’s office has yet to comment or confirm the news of Trump’s potential arrest.
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Former Whitewater deputy Sol Wisenberg, who noted that he is a critic of the 45th president, echoed Hakes’ sentiment that Bragg’s case is “obviously political” in nature.
In a subsequent appearance on “Fox & Friends Weekend,” Sunday, he called the potential arrest “unpleasant.”
“The question you should ask yourself in a case like this … would a case like this be brought against someone else, whether he or she is the president, former president or an ordinary citizen? The answer is … no,” Wisenberg said .
“You can debate all day long whether or not President former President Trump should be indicted related to the Mar-a-Lago records; whether or not he should be indicted with regard to the Jan. 6 solicitation of unlawful activity … These are real crimes if they happened , and he obliged them,” he continued.
“This is absurd.”
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Critics have also been quick to note that Bragg may not be able to indict the former president if the statute of limitations has expired.
But Hakes explained that Bragg may be able to shrug off that concern and proceed with an indictment if there are additional conspiracy charges, she argued.
Regardless, Wisenberg called the potential charges against Trump a “weak sister case,” while noting significant legitimacy concerns.
“Number one, because it would never be prosecuted this late against anybody else,” Wisenberg said. “Number two, it’s in most cases under New York state law, a misdemeanor … from what we’ve heard, this is about [the] falsification of records which can only be a crime if the records are falsified to conceal another crime.”
“So there are real questions here, whether it ultimately stands up because of statutes of limitations … and other concerns,” he continued. – It is a weak sister case.