Jonathan Turley says Trump hush money trial an 'embarassment'

 April 23, 2024

Fox News legal expert Jonathan Turley said Monday on Fox News that the hush money trial against former President Donald Trump is an "embarrassment," echoing comments from Trump about the trial.

The trial alleges that Trump falsified business records related to payments to three individuals who made accusations about him in 2016. One of them was Stormy Daniels, a porn star who alleged that she and Trump had sex.

It isn't illegal to pay accusers to keep quiet, but the prosecution alleges that Trump actually used campaign funds to make the payments, then classified them as legal expenses through the Trump Organization.

Trump claims he didn't make the payments to his accusers and that the payments made to Michael Cohen were actually legal expenses.

"Utter disbelief"

Turley said, “What is clear is in this case, Trump is right this is an embarrassment. The fact that we are actually talking about this case being presented in a New York court room leaves me in utter disbelief.”

He continued, “The arguments today did in fact capture all the problems here. You had this misdemeanor under state law that had run out. This is going back related to the 2016 election. They zapped it back into life by alleging that there was a campaign finance violations under the federal laws that doesn’t exist. The Department of Justice doesn’t view it this way.”

Turley's comments show that the case is convoluted, which is probably why two different federal prosecutors declined to bring any charges.

But District Attorney Alvin Bragg campaigned on charging Trump with something, so he has to follow through.

The hypocrisy

Turley went on to say, “On top of that, you got these tough factual issues that were laid out well by the Trump team saying someone else designated this as a legal expense and he was actually paid far in excess of this because this was a legal account."

"Also keep in mind, this is what Hillary Clinton’s people did," he added. "Remember when they funded the Steele Dossier which they denied to reporters, they put it as a legal expense. Then they fought the eventual fine they received from the federal government saying that it was a legal expense. Now you got some of the same Democrats supporting this bizarre theory.”

Democrats said Clinton wasn't doing anything wrong when she funded the Steele Dossier with campaign funds and then called it a legal expense, but when Trump allegedly does the same thing, it's suddenly a felony.

If that's not hypocrisy, nothing is.

While other Democrat legal experts are more than happy to pile on to Trump and proclaim him guilty before the trial even gets underway, Turley (who is a Democrat and not a Trump supporter), seems to be one of the few legal experts with the intellectual honesty to be consistent in his opinions.

Charges like this are beneath a former president, and it's too bad Bragg is so myopic he can't see that.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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