Leaks to media about Manhattan grand jury indictment of Trump a felony crime punishable with up to five years in prison

April 2, 2023
Ben Marquis

It was widely reported in the media on Thursday that, according to anonymous sources, the grand jury empaneled by Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg had voted to criminally indict former President Donald Trump, and subsequent anonymously-sourced reports revealed that a sealed indictment had, in fact, been issued.

According to Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, however, the leaks about the Trump indictment are felony crimes in and of themselves, as New York law prohibits the disclosure of "confidential grand jury information," the Conservative Brief reported.

Leaked news of grand jury vote was a felony crime

In an op-ed for The New York Sun on Friday, Dershowitz wrote of the likelihood that "a serious felony has been committed" within Manhattan DA Bragg's office, given that "Under New York law, it is a felony to leak confidential grand jury information, such as whether the jurors voted to indict."

"We know that the information was disclosed while the indictment itself remains sealed and before any official announcement was made or charges brought. It is unlikely that the leak came from the Trump team, which seemed genuinely surprised," he continued.

"The most likely, though uncertain, scenario is that a person in Mr. Bragg’s office or a grand juror unlawfully leaked the sealed information. That would be a class E felony, subject to imprisonment," Dershowitz wrote.

The law professor acknowledged the possibility that the DA's office was quietly investigating the illicit leak of confidential information about the grand jury's vote to issue a sealed indictment, but suggested that the greater likelihood was that "Bragg is too busy making up a crime against the man he promised in his campaign to get than investigating a real crime that took place on his watch."

Felony leak of confidential grand jury info could result in up to five years in prison

The Conservative Brief reported that professor Dershowitz said much the same thing during an appearance on Fox Business, where he revealed, "If somebody on the grand jury, prosecutor or grand juror, leaked the fact that there was a vote to indict, that is a one- to five-year class E felony under New York," and noted, "Bragg now has a prima facia case that a crime has been committed right in his building, but as far as I know he’s not investigating it."

"We don’t know who did the leak," he admitted. "It is conceivable it could have been done by somebody in the Trump administration but I doubt it because they seem to have been taken by great surprise so the most likely source of the leak is someone from within Bragg’s office or within the grand jury. That’s where the focus ought to be."

Carlson calls out felony leak of indictment news

Professor Dershowitz is not alone in calling out the apparent felony leak of the grand jury indictment information, as Newsweek reported that Fox News host Tucker Carlson also raised the issue during his program on Friday evening.

The top-rated primetime host first made note of the alleged content of the sealed indictment itself, believed to be in regard to former President Trump's 2016 payment of $130,000 in "hush money" to former porn actress Stormy Daniels to silence her about a prior alleged affair, and pointed out that it was essentially "a slew of process crimes he apparently made seven years ago."

In no fair system would that be a crime under the law seven years later," Carlson said. And in reference to how DA Bragg is reportedly attempting to elevate a minor misdemeanor about falsifying business records into a full-fledged felony, he noted that Bragg has "stitched together a Frankenstein legal theory to justify this prosecution" over an alleged crime that otherwise would have long ago expired under the two-year statute of limitations.

"And if that isn't third world enough, someone leaked the news of Donald Trump's grand jury indictment to the media," he continued. "Now that in itself is a crime under the law in New York -- in fact, a much bigger crime than those under which Donald Trump is being charged."

"Will Alvin Bragg prosecute the leaker?" Carlson added. "Please. It's almost certainly someone in his own office."

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