Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is used to investigating Donald Trump, but his latest investigation involves bigger stakes.
Bragg is leading the investigation into whether Trump paid $130,000 to silence porn actress Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election. If a grand jury indicted Trump, he would be the first former president to be prosecuted.
The latest case culminates in years of Bragg investigations at the city and state levels into Trump and his aides, the Trump Organization and the Trump Foundation. As federal cases fizzled out, Bragg initiated local prosecutions against political strategist Steve Bannon after Trump pardoned him and started the hush money investigation into Trump when the The Justice Department declined to press charges.
Bragg boasted of helping to sue Trump more than 100 times during his 2021 campaign. A case he supervised in the public prosecutor’s office led to Dissolution of the Trump Foundation after paying $2 million to charities.
Bragg’s office has won convictions in cases filed by his predecessor against two Trump corporations and be CFO.
Trump’s arguments with Bragg have become personal. Trump called Bragg, the first black man to become a Manhattan district attorney, a “racist” for prosecuting him in a post Truth Social on March 20th And one animal” who is “doing the work of anarchists and the devil” in two posts from March 23rd. Trump posted a picture on Truth Social, which he later removed, showing him holding a Baseball bat next to Bragg.
Bragg’s office said he was following the law to uncover the truth. As publicity grew about the case, he received death threats and Friday a threatening letter with an unknown substance.
“We will not be intimidated by attempts to undermine the judicial process, nor will we be intimidated by baseless allegations from applying the law fairly,” said Bragg spokeswoman Danielle Filson.
Here’s what we know about the investigation:
Bragg is a veteran Harvard-educated prosecutor
Before the district attorney’s electionBragg served in the Attorney General’s office and as Assistant US Attorney in the Southern District of New York.
As assistant attorney general, he oversaw 1,500 employees and a budget of $225 million. Bragg was the first chief of a special unit investigating deaths caused by police behavior. And he directly oversaw the Trump Foundation’s litigation.
Before Bragg became a prosecutor Trump pardoned Bannon for federal fees related to the non-profit We Build The Wall Inc., which was charged with alleged money laundering and conspiracy in a program that raised millions of dollars. But Bragg and Attorney General Letitia James announced one Six counts in September against Bannon and the group.
Bragg’s office won convictions against two branches of the Trump organization and its chief financial officer. Allen Weisselberg was subsequently sentenced to five months in prison plead guilty to 15 charges in a tax avoidance scheme. Two Trump companies were fined $1.6 million for convictions of 17 felonies.
between government jobs, Bragg represented Eric Garner’s mother and sister while seeking information about his death during an arrest by city police in 2014. A city grand jury decided not to indict officer Daniel Pantaleo and Federal prosecutors declined to prosecute him.
Bragg earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from Harvard University.
Republicans slam Trump probe as ‘poor and untested’
Trump isn’t the only Republican to call the investigation political.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on March 20, “If you have a prosecutor who ignores crimes that happen every day in his jurisdiction and he decides to go back many, many years to try and use something about porn star hush payments, that’s an example for pursuing a political agenda.”
Three House committee chairmen asked Bragg to testify about his investigation, which they described as “politically motivated” and “poor and untested.” When Bragg dismissed her questions about a pending criminal investigation, the chairmen said they would consider it Legislation to prevent a local prosecutor from bringing charges against the president of another party.
Leslie Dubeck, Bragg’s general counsel, told House Speakers that allegations of political motivation were “unfounded”.
Bragg went after Trump after others declined
Bragg’s critics complain that he has indicted events that have been known for years and that other prosecutors have decided not to pursue the prosecution:
Bragg critics focus on crime while he says kills, kills
New York’s crime rate figures prominently in Trump’s and other Republicans’ criticism of Bragg.
Trump accused Bragg in a March 20 Truth Social post “To set murderers, rapists and drug dealers free” and to direct “the greatest wave of violent crime” in New York City history.
But Bragg’s office said homicides and shootings in Manhattan have declined since he took office more than a year ago.
Bragg’s office said homicides fell 16% and shootings fell 11% in the first year of his tenure. The trend continued this year, with homicides down 32% and shootings down 14%, the agency said.
“A lot of false claims have been made, so let’s clarify some particularly egregious statements about the safety of our great city lately,” Filson said.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Alvin Bragg v Donald Trump: Inside their recent lawsuit
Source : news.yahoo.com