Legal experts: New York hush money trial must end in Trump acquittal

 May 12, 2024

As the New York hush money trial of Donald Trump has continued to unfold, critics of the prosecution have marveled at just how thin the case truly is, and according to some high-profile commentators, acquittal is something that just now requires.

In the estimation of observers such as former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy, writing for National Review, the bottom line is that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg simply cannot prove that the former president has committed a crime.

McCarthy holds forth

As a parade of often-irrelevant witnesses and testimony has been presented by prosecutors in a New York courtroom in recent weeks, an inescapable truth has emerged, according to McCarthy, namely, that no criminal offense has -- or can be -- established.

In a recent op-ed penned about the matter, McCarthy declared, “Let's put aside all of the constitutional objections to Alvin Bragg's prosecution of Donald Trump -- objections premised on the shredding of both federal and state due-process guarantees.”

“Trump ought to be acquitted for the simplest of reasons: Prosecutors can't prove their case – neither the case the grand jury actuallly charged, 34 counts of felony business-records falsification, nor the base that elected Democratic district attorney Alvin Bragg has imagined into existence,” he continued.

McCarthy further slammed Judge Juan Marchan's willingness to permit irrelevant and massively prejudicial testimony from the likes of adult entertainer Stormy Daniels “for the transparent purpose of sullying Trump in the eyes of both the jury and the electorate,” a move he says is clearly reversible error.

Reliance on dishonesty

Adding to the expert commentary critical of what is going on in the case was Fox News' Gregg Jarrett, who, as Newsweek reports, suggested that Bragg is, in essence, counting on disgraced former attorney and onetime Trump fixer, to lie on the stand.

“As we enter the fourth week of testimony, none of the witnesses called thus far have connected Trump to any criminal wrongdoing,” Jarrett asserted.

He went on, “Apparently, Cohen is the prosecution's only witness who can attempt to do that. He'll like, of course. It's a given. And that's what Bragg is counting on.”

“It is indisputable that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's star witness, Michael Cohen, is an incurable and prodigious liar. It may take a full day in the courtroom just to read aloud his endless falsehoods and fabrications,” Jarrett added, lending his voice to those suggesting that a Trump acquittal should be a foregone conclusion.

Turley weighs in

Joining the chorus of those calling for an acquittal is George Washington law professor Jonathan Turley, who, writing for The Hill, took aim at Bragg's introduction of testimony from adult entertainer Stormy Daniels and his misguided reliance on Cohen.

Blasting Daniels' testimony as irrelevant and prejudicial, Turley also noted that the defense team's cross-examination of her was “devastating,” as it “shattered her laughable claim that she had not really been seeking money in shaking Trump down for a non-disclosure agreement, a claim contradicted by her own former lawyer.”

“Daniels's graphic testimony may prove the moral high point of this trial, since serial perjurer and disbarred attorney Michael Cohen is scheduled to testify Monday,” Turley mused.

The esteemed legal expert concluded by noting that Merchan ought to grant the inevitable defense motion for dismissal of the case in its entirety, saying, “There has been no showing of an actual crime, let alone a clear record tying Trump to key decisions or actions,” but whether the clearly biased judge can bring himself to that level of intellectual honesty, only time will tell.

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