Op-ed posits that Bill Clinton interfered with and stole the 1992 election under DA Bragg's standard for Trump prosecution

 May 3, 2024

Former President Donald Trump is facing criminal prosecution in New York for allegedly falsifying business records in an attempt to conceal supposed election and campaign finance law violations that, in essence, helped him interfere with and steal the 2016 election, according to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Under the convoluted framework erected by Bragg, however, a similar argument of criminality could be leveled against former President Bill Clinton, according to a New York Post op-ed.

Clinton, like Trump, is alleged to have coerced, intimidated, or paid off women who claimed to have had sexual affairs with him to remain silent ahead of and after his 1992 election. Thus, as Rich Lowry argued for the Post, "If Trump’s guilty of 'election interference' -- then so is Bill Clinton."

Bragg's case against Trump

According to Lawfare, DA Bragg charged former President Trump with 34 counts of falsification of business records, which is typically a misdemeanor count that Bragg elevated to the felony level by asserting that the falsification was intended to cover up some other unspecified alleged crime.

The charges stem from Trump's monthly reimbursement payments throughout 2017, labeled as legal expenses, to then-personal attorney Michael Cohen for the $130,000 in "hush money" he paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels in October 2016 to keep her quiet about an alleged affair with Trump a decade earlier.

Though the prosecution has played coy on the specifics thus far, it is believed that the "other" crime(s) the falsified business records allegedly concealed were violations of federal and/or state election and campaign finance laws, in that Cohen's "hush money" payment to Daniels constituted an illegal contribution to Trump's campaign and the silencing of Daniel's allegations improperly interfered with the election by depriving the American people of negative information about the Republican candidate.

If keeping negative information secret from the public is "election interference," then Clinton is guilty too

Of course, DA Bragg's convoluted case against former President Trump has always been deemed sketchy and a stretch -- even the leftists at Lawfare have struggled to explain and defend it -- but as Lowry's Post op-ed seemed to suggest, if this is the new standard then it ought to be applied equally.

Thus, Lowry directed attention to the allegations that former President Clinton and his team worked to discredit or silence his own accusers before and after the 1992 election, including through payoffs and convincing or forcing them to sign fraudulent affidavits denying their accusations against him.

Yet, if Trump's efforts to silence Daniels amounted to "election interference," then so too did Clinton's efforts to do the same in 1992.

Clinton's own version of Michael Cohen -- private investigator Jack Palladino

But Lowry wrote that the comparison doesn't even end there, as Clinton had his own version of a Michael Cohen -- an aggressive and unscrupulous private investigator named Jack Palladino, who secretly threatened and intimidated or otherwise coerced Clinton's accusers into signing the fraudulent affidavits or else dug up dirt that was later used to discredit them through the media if they went public with their accusations.

Much like how Trump is alleged to have concealed his reimbursement payments to Cohen as "legal fees," the Clinton campaign similarly paid Palladino more than $100,000 for his dirty work through a Denver law firm as a means to conceal the true purpose of the payments in terms of federal campaign finance laws.

On top of that, it has been alleged that Clinton, when he was governor of Arkansas, exploited state troopers under his command to obtain women for him and then, through campaign staffers and loyalists, pressured and threatened those troopers into remaining quiet about what they had witnessed or participated in.

Under Bragg's standard, Clinton stole the 1992 election

"Needless to say, pointing to Bill Clinton’s conduct as a precedent isn’t much of a defense," Lowry wrote to conclude his op-ed. "The point is that campaigns always try to keep unwelcome information from voters (the Biden campaign and the Hunter laptop is a more recent example).

"And, certainly, amid all the threats, job offers, payments, and mixing of private and official matters entailed by Clinton’s extensive damage-control operation in 1992, a politically motivated local prosecutor could have found some sort of misdemeanor to use against him," he added. "The list of Bill Clinton’s ethical lapses is long. Now, if we take Alvin Bragg seriously, stealing the 1992 election has to be added to the list."

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