Chuck Schumer won't express confidence in Manhattan DA's attempt to indict Trump

March 23, 2023

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer raised eyebrows this week for not expressing confidence in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's attempt to indict former President Trump.

According to The Hill, Schumer's comments came on Wednesday when the New York senator was asked if he has confidence in Bragg's efforts.

Senate leader declines to comment on case

"Look, the bottom line, is — as I said — it’s premature to comment on what’s happening and we’ll have to wait and see what he does," Schumer was quoted as saying.

Fox News noted that prosecutors say former Trump attorney Michael Cohn provided Daniels with $130,000 seven years ago in exchange for keeping quiet about an affair she and the president allegedly had a decade earlier.

Trump is then accused of having violated campaign finance laws by reimbursing Cohn via a series of payments that were falsely labeled as legal fees.

Many believed that the former president would be indicted this week and Fox News reported that a grand jury was expected to hear evidence on Wednesday.

"Major dissension" reported in Bragg's office

However, the hearing was later canceled, with a source telling Fox News that there is "major dissension" among members of Bragg's staff.

"We can’t confirm or comment on grand jury matters," a spokesperson for Bragg's office was quoted as telling the network.

Another hearing was scheduled for Thursday, but this was also canceled. No further hearings are expected to be scheduled until Monday at the earliest.

The Hill pointed out that West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin argued any attempt to prosecute Trump reeks of political weaponization.

Critics say Bragg is politicizing the justice system

"There’s many reasons not to support Donald Trump," The Hill quoted him as saying. "There’s many reasons why Donald Trump should not be president again of the United States but you should not allow the court system to be viewed as a political pawn."

Manchin went on to suggest that going after Trump may backfire on Democrats, saying, "I think it would basically have the reverse effect as what some people would think, not for the good."

George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley echoed some of Manchin's concerns in an op-ed piece for The Hill last week.

Turley asserted that Bragg is doing "immense" damage to the rule of law, adding that "the criminal justice system can be a terrible weapon when used for political purposes."

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