Former Biden DOJ prosecutor Matthew Colangelo delivers opening arguments in NY Trump trial

 April 23, 2024

Former President Donald Trump has often asserted that all of the several civil and criminal trials against him have been coordinated with President Joe Biden's administration and therefore present a conflict of interest in light of the political rivalry and upcoming rematch election between Biden and Trump.

That accusation was further fueled on Monday when former federal prosecutor Matthew Colangelo, who worked in the Biden administration before joining Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's team, delivered the prosecution's opening arguments in Trump's "hush money" case in New York, according to Newsweek.

Some of Trump's supporters on social media were quick to highlight the link Colangelo proved between Biden and DA Bragg and expressed outrage over the seemingly apparent conflict of interest.

Bragg hired Colangelo out of Biden DOJ

In a December 2022 press release, DA Bragg announced the hiring of Colangelo for a new "Senior Counsel" position on his staff and said in a statement, "Matthew Colangelo brings a wealth of economic justice experience combined with complex white-collar investigations, and he has the sound judgment and integrity needed to pursue justice against powerful people and institutions when they abuse their power."

The release went on to noted that Colangelo brought to the Manhattan DA's Office "a breadth of relevant experience, most recently his two years at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he served in a senior leadership position and helped to oversee the Antitrust, Civil, Civil Rights, Environment and Natural Resources, and Tax Divisions."

It was also pointed out by Bragg as a positive that Colangelo had previously worked in the New York Attorney General's Office, where he led "more than 80 lawsuits" against the prior Trump administration and also played an integral role in "investigating the Trump Foundation."

Trump gagged after criticizing Colangelo

In late March, in a rant that contributed to the gag order imposed just a day later by New York Judge Juan Merchan, the Washington Examiner reported that former President Trump sharply criticized Colangelo's involvement in the Manhattan criminal prosecution in light of the prosecutor's prior ties to the Biden administration.

"Remember this. Colangelo was a DOJ guy. He’s a Biden DOJ guy. Why is he in the Manhattan DA’s office trying the case? That in itself is a conflict. He’s in the Manhattan DA’s office trying the case. I mean, that’s called a conflict," Trump said at the time.

The Examiner noted that despite DA Bragg's press release highlighting Colangelo's experience prosecuting "white-collar" crimes, a New York Times article at the time revealed that Bragg's real motivation for hiring the federal prosecutor was his "broad knowledge" of Trump and the Trump Organization from his time in the Biden DOJ and NYAG's office.

Trump went on to allege that Colangelo was now "running the whole thing" in Bragg's office after "sitting in the background for the last year," and further stated, "I don’t know how you can have a trial like this in the middle of an election, the presidential election, and this is, again, this is a Biden trial. These are all Biden trials because Colangelo worked for Biden. Can you imagine they take a guy out of DOJ, and they put him into the attorney general’s office and then into the Manhattan DA’s office To go after Trump?"

Trump backers call out Colangelo's link to Biden

On Monday, as Colangelo delivered the prosecution's opening arguments, Breitbart reported that former President Trump told reporters outside the courtroom, "This is a witch hunt and it’s a shame and it comes out of Washington. It’s in coordination with Washington, everything, including the DA’s office, it’s in coordination with Washington. I just want people to understand that this is done for purposes of hurting the opponent of the worst president in the history of our country."

While Trump likely didn't call out Colangelo by name because of Judge Merchan's gag order, that didn't stop his supporters from openly naming Colangelo as a problem on social media, according to Newsweek, as conservative commentator Rogan O'Handley said, "To anyone foolishly thinking Biden isn't coordinating these Trump indictments His former #3 at the DOJ Matthew Colangelo just gave the opening statement in Trump's NYC criminal trial today. No, I'm not kidding."

Similarly, former Trump DOJ official Jeff Clark wrote, "Oh good grief! Matthew Colangelo, the former number three Biden DOJ official, is the one who delivered the opening statement for Alvin Bragg today against President Trump," and added, "You can't make this stuff up!"

Likewise, conservative lawyer Will Chamberlain posted sarcastically, "The former #3 official in the entire Biden DOJ left that job to fulfill his dream of being a line prosecutor in a local DA's office. To get Trump. But this is totally independent of the administration."

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