FEC member says Alvin Bragg 'usurped' federal authority in Trump case

 June 15, 2024

Many on the left celebrated late last month after former President Donald Trump was found guilty in New York on 34 counts of falsifying business records.

However, one federal official recently argued this past week that the former president's conviction was itself illegal. 

Bragg cited federal campaign finance law in state case

According to the Washington Examiner, that claim was put forward on Thursday by Trey Trainor, a member of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) who once served as its chairman.

During Trainor's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, he took issue with the legal theory Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg presented when prosecuting Trump.

The FEC member noted how in order to raise falsification of business records from a misdemeanor to a felony under New York law, Bragg had to demonstrate that the alleged falsification was performed in furtherance of another underlying crime.

The district attorney maintained that by listing hush-money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels, Trump was violating the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) in 2016 with an illegal campaign expenditure.

Trainor: Manhattan DA "usurped" federal jurisdiction

However, Trainor recalled how the Department of Justice (DOJ) had already "vigorously" investigated the Daniels payoff and ultimately declined to prosecute Trump three years ago.

"Bragg has effectively usurped the jurisdiction that this Congress has explicitly reserved for federal authorities," the Examiner quoted Trainor as telling lawmakers.

"This overreach sets a troubling precedent for politicization of legal proceedings at the state level," the federal official went on to insist.

"This revelation underscores the problematic nature of Bragg’s prosecution and his intrusion upon federal jurisdiction," he added.

Judge believes Trump may qualify for an appeal

Judge Michael Obus served in New York for nearly three decades, and he said the fact that Bragg alleged an FECA violation along with crimes under state law could give rise to an appeal.

"Since one of the alternatives was this federal election violation, that’s the kind of argument that we might see on appeal, [an] argument being that New York courts don’t have the authority to prosecute a case with that being the object crime, because it’s a federal crime," Obus told reporters shortly after Trump's conviction.

Meanwhile, the Examiner pointed out that Bragg is himself scheduled to testify before Congress on July 12, one day after the former president's sentencing hearing.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.