Law professor says Alvin Bragg may have set himself up for a hung jury in Trump case

 May 27, 2024

Closing arguments in former President Donald Trump's New York hush-money trial are scheduled to take place on Tuesday, with jury instructions expected to come one day later.

While many conservatives fear Trump will be convicted for political reasons, one legal expert believes that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg may have set himself up for a defeat. 

Case compared to an abstract painting

Johnathan Turley is a professor at George Washington University Law School, and he made that suggestion in an op-ed piece published by The Hill this past weekend.

Turley started out by accusing Bragg of having "created a new school of abstract law" and compared the prosecutor's case to the work of abstract painter Jackson Pollock.

The law professor argued that just as with Pollock's work, "there is no need for objective meaning" in the charges which Bragg brought against Trump.

That can be seen in Bragg's effort to present "a dead misdemeanor on falsifying business records as 34 felony counts." He did this by asserting "that the document violations (which expired long ago under the statute of limitations) were committed to hide some other crime."

Bragg is relying on "pathological liar" Michael Cohen

Turley went on to recall how Bragg once "vaguely referenced four crimes" but now says there are only three: "state and federal election violations and taxation violations."

This could result in "three groups of four jurors, with one believing that there was a conspiracy to conceal a state election violation, another believing there was a federal election violation (which Bragg cannot enforce), and a third believing there was a tax violation, respectively."

Turley also took aim at the prosecution's star witness Michael Cohen, pointing out that the disgraced former lawyer has already pleaded guilty to perjury.

"You can throw paint on Cohen all day, but it will not cover up the fact that he is a pathological liar and grifter," Turley maintained.

The legal scholar concluded by asserting that a hung jury might be "the most likely possibility" given Cohen's credibility problems and Bragg's confusing approach.

CNN political correspondent suggests an acquittal is possible

Meanwhile, Fox News noted how CNN political correspondent Sara Murray went even further than Turley by suggesting this past weekend that Trump's trial could end in a full acquittal.

"I think that it's very likely this is the only trial that we are going to get before Election Day," Fox News quoted Murray as saying on Sunday.

"And this case is not a slam dunk, which means that Donald Trump may very well not be convicted. Acquitted is the worst-case scenario for Democrats," she observed.

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