Democrats have been dead set on criminally indicting former President Donald Trump for just about anything, and after years of failed attempts in that regard, their fervent wish may finally soon come true.
A report this week indicated that Democratic Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg offered Trump an opportunity to appear before a grand jury, which legal analysts view as a signal that an actual indictment could be imminent, TheBlaze reported.
The potential indictment from the New York City prosecutor would likely be related to the alleged $130,000 in “hush money” that Trump, through his then-personal attorney Michael Cohen, is said to have paid former porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 campaign for her silence about a supposed earlier extramarital affair.
DA considering a “risky” legal move
The New York Times reported on this recent development per four unnamed sources said to have “knowledge of the matter,” though it is highly unlikely that former President Trump would actually testify before a grand jury, and his attorneys are likely hard at work to stop any proceedings toward an indictment altogether.
Notably, if Bragg were to press criminal charges against Trump, it would be the first time ever that a former president has been indicted, and depending upon how that possible prosecution would play out, Bragg could become a national hero to Democrats or relegated to a footnote in history.
That is due in large part to the fact that what Bragg is reportedly considering doing “hinges on an untested and therefore risky legal theory involving a complex interplay of laws, all amounting to a low-level felony,” The Times reported. “If Mr. Trump were ultimately convicted, he would face a maximum sentence of four years, though prison time would not be mandatory.”
Testing out a “novel legal theory”
According to The Times, when Trump allegedly reimbursed Cohen in 2016 for the “hush money” payment to Daniels, it was documented as “legal expenses” under a supposed retainer agreement. However, it is alleged that there never actually was a retainer agreement, which would render the claimed “legal expenses” to be a misdemeanor crime of falsifying business records in New York.
In order to elevate that mere misdemeanor to a felony, the outlet noted, DA Bragg would need to link to some other secondary crime under New York law, and it appears that he will attempt to use a state election law for that purpose.
Given that Trump was a candidate at the time, prosecutors could attempt to argue that the “hush money” payment to Daniels actually constituted an “improper donation” to his presidential campaign in that it arguably proved beneficial to his ultimately successful candidacy.
The Times surmised, “Combining the criminal charge with a violation of state election law would be a novel legal theory for any criminal case, let alone one against the former president, raising the possibility that a judge or appellate court could throw it out or reduce the felony charge to a misdemeanor.”
In other words, the Manhattan prosecutor could be about to launch a longshot effort to indict and prosecute and convict the former president that likely is just as even more probable to backfire and blow up in his face than it is to prove successful.
Trump responds in his typical way
Of course, former President Trump is never one to remain silent in the face of threats posed by his Democratic opponents, and he quite predictably unleashed a lengthy and rambling statement on his Truth Social account in response to the news.
That statement, along with subsequent posts to his account, let loose on DA Bragg, his former attorney Cohen, Daniels, and just about everybody else tangentially involved in the matter, and also reminded everyone of the long history of unsuccessful Democratic efforts to “get Trump” while he also reiterated his proclamations of innocence.
In the end, this will likely end up just like all of the other failed attempts to indict Trump, and even if Bragg does actually proceed with his legal Hail Mary and really does press charges against the former president, it seems decidedly unlikely that Trump would actually get convicted, much less spend any time behind bars.