Recent developments in the case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg against former President Donald Trump. Trump was charged earlier this month on federal charges stemming from his handling of top-secret documents at his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.
As a result, Bragg’s case against Trump has probably been put on hold since the federal case is more important. But veteran litigator and defense attorney Alan Dershowitz continues to raise red flags about Bragg’s office trying to “keep secret” some elements of his case against Trump.
“District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s rebuff of President Trump’s request for a bill of particulars — a record that would provide a high-resolution snapshot of the case against him — telegraphs that the Manhattan prosecutor is mostly keeping his cards close to the vest in what could be the trial of the century,” the New York Sun reported.
“The disclosure of the full nature of the charges against Mr. Trump is a flashpoint because of how Mr. Bragg has built his criminal case, which stems from hush money payments to an adult film star, Stormy Daniels. Convicting Mr. Trump would require linking the falsification of business records, a misdemeanor on its own, to a second crime,” the outlet added.
Dershowitz asked: “How do you put on a defense if you don’t know the crime?” in a statement to the NY Sun.
In part because there has “never been a case in American history where anybody has been indicted for failing to disclose hush money about an alleged illicit affair,” Dershowitz claimed that he has “never seen a weaker indictment” than the one presented by Bragg against Trump.
According to the renowned lawyer, a defendant has a “absolute constitutional right” to know the specifics of the accusations made against him. This protection is rooted in the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, which guarantees that a defendant has the right to “be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation” and “be confronted with the witnesses against him.”
As a result of his accusations against Trump of wrongdoing in connection with a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election that was made possible by his then-personal attorney Michael Cohen, Bragg is currently the target of two lawsuits.
According to Fox News, “The Heritage Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based conservative think tank, has sued Bragg under suspicions that he and his office coordinated or communicated with the Justice Department, the White House, and Rep. Daniel Goldman, D-N.Y., about the prosecution. In its lawsuit, Heritage claims that such actions eventually led to investigations by several U.S. House committees into Bragg’s conduct.”
Dershowitz stated in May that he thought Bragg’s case against Trump might result in his bar suspension.
While Dershowitz does not share Trump’s political views, he did tell DW’s Tim Sebastian that the indictment Bragg filed against the former Trump is “absurd and politically motivated.”
Given that judges and prosecutors in New York are chosen by election, Dershowitz contended that Trump will not receive a “fair trial in Manhattan” and that they all probably have political leanings to the Left.
Dershowitz continued by saying that if Bragg calls former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen as a witness in the trial, which is set to start in December, things might become challenging for him.
“I don’t think an indictment can actually come forward now after the comments made by [Robert] Costello,” the attorney said.
He said that “he has proved that the main witness is going to be a perjuring liar on the witness stand, and that puts the district attorney in a terrible position.”
“If he uses Cohen as a witness, he could actually lose his bar license. It’s unethical to put a witness on the stand who you know is lying, and he has to know that Cohen will be lying. Or he tries the case without Cohen, which would be very difficult, or he does the right thing: he drops the case,” Dershowitz said.
In a previous interview, Dershowitz suggested that if Bragg is found guilty of disclosing information about Trump’s indictment to the media, he might spend up to five years in prison.
Grand jury testimony leaks are a Class E felony in New York, punishable by a one- to five-year prison term.
Dershowitz also stated in an opinion piece that he believes the person responsible for the sole felony in this case is the one who leaked the sealed indictment.
“It is likely that a serious felony has been committed right under District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s nose and he is not investigating it. Under New York law, it is a felony to leak confidential grand jury information, such as whether the jurors voted to indict. The protection of secrecy is as applicable to President Trump as it is to anyone else,” Dershowitz said.