'Selective prosecution': NY prosecutors ignored Hillary, but they're going after Trump

'Selective prosecution': NY prosecutors ignored Hillary, but they're going after Trump

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg (AP File Photo)

'Selective prosecution': NY prosecutors ignored Hillary, but they're going after Trump

Alvin Bragg has spent his legal career prosecuting criminals. This time, however, he doesn't have the goods to make the case … unless he can pull a fast one on the grand jury.

That's what Fox News legal and political analyst Gregg Jarrett told Jenna Ellis on American Family Radio Monday morning.

Fox News reports that Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg has responded to a demand from three House committees that he testify before Congress on the possible indictment of former President Donald Trump and turn over documents related to the investigation.

"You are reportedly about to engage in an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority: the indictment of a former President of the United States and current declared candidate for that office," says the committees' letter to Bragg.

That letter comes from the Republican chairs of the Committees on the Judiciary, House Administration, and Oversight and Accountability. It continues:

"This indictment comes after years of your office searching for a basis – any basis – on which to bring charges, ultimately settling on a novel legal theory untested anywhere in the country and one that federal authorities declined to pursue. If these reports are accurate, your actions will erode confidence in the evenhanded application of justice and unalterably interfere in the course of the 2024 presidential election.

"In light of the serious consequences of your actions, we expect that you will testify about what plainly appears to be a politically motivated prosecutorial decision."

Bragg's office has issued a statement in response to Republicans' demand that he testify:

"We will not be intimidated by attempts to undermine the justice process, nor will we let baseless accusations deter us from fairly applying the law. In every prosecution, we follow the law without fear or favor to uncover the truth. Our skilled, honest and dedicated lawyers remain hard at work."

Former President Donald Trump said in posts on the social media platform Truth Social over the weekend he expected to be indicted on charges of paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels. If true, that could be a violation of New York state laws – and that's the focus of Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney (pictured above).

Daniels says that she and Trump had sex once years prior to his 2016 election win over Hillary Clinton, an allegation Trump has denied. His denial hasn't deterred the efforts of Bragg, a Democrat, whose motives appear to Jarrett to be politically motivated.

"This is the most cockamamie legal theory I've ever seen, taking an alleged misdemeanor and supercharging it into a felony by bootstrapping some imagined campaign violation," Jarrett said.

There were reports on Monday that Trump might be arrested on Tuesday but it has since been learned that the New York grand jury investigating him is to hear from another witness on Wednesday.

Testimony by key player denounced

Grand jurors on Monday heard testimony from lawyer Robert Costello, who denounced former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, a key player in Bragg's strategy. Trump's legal team hopes Costello's testimony will slow an investigation that is nearing the finish line.

Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 in connection with the payments to porn actor Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal, which he said were directed by Trump. Since then, Cohen has been a vociferous Trump critic, testifying before Congress and then to the Manhattan grand jury.

Trump, who has denied having sex with either woman, has branded Cohen a liar. On Monday, Costello followed suit saying: "If they want to go after Donald Trump and they have solid evidence, then so be it. But Michael Cohen is far from solid evidence."

Costello – who briefly advised Cohen after the FBI raided Cohen's home and apartment in 2018 – broke with Cohen before he pleaded guilty, after it became clear he was no longer in Trump's camp. Jarrett says Costello's commentary could be impactful.

Jarrett, Gregg (Fox News) Jarrett

"It's a shrewd move by Trump's lawyers," Jarrett continued. "They have convinced the grand jury to listen to Cohen's former attorney who is expected to tell them, 'Hey, wait a minute. My client, Michael Cohen, claimed all along that this payment to Stormy Daniels was for personal reasons not at all related to the campaign.'

"Well, if that's so, there's no crime," Jarrett added. "We'll have to wait and see what happens next."

DA Bragg 'doing Democrats' bidding'

Some believe the latest charges are part of a larger attempt to drain energy and cash from Trump prior to his 2024 presidential run.

Ellis compared the grand jury probe to previous charges that Trump colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

Special counsel Robert Mueller, after a near-two-year investigation, did not find sufficient evidence to support that claim. Mueller did conclude in 2019 that Russia interfered with the 2016 election but did so without Trump's help.

The special counsel "did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts despite multiple attempts from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign," wrote former US Attorney General Robert Barr when addressing Congress.

Mueller was more vague on the charge of obstruction of justice saying his report neither cleared nor exonerated the president.

Barr, though, took a stronger stance on the obstruction charge then. He told Congress that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "concluded that the evidence developed during the special counsel's investigation is not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction-of-justice offense."

Bragg's case could be headed for the same outcome, according to the Fox News legal analyst. "It's totally concocted. It's not a legitimate legal theory," Jarrett said. "Bragg doesn't care because he's doing the bidding of Democrats. He thinks he's going to be the savior of the Republic by stopping Trump's run again for president."

By hook or by crook

Jarrett sees the charges as an example of the variety of ways Democrats will work to prevent a second term for Trump.

"He has to be stopped by hook or by crook because Democrats view Donald Trump as the hobgoblin eternal bogey man – so any end justifies any malevolent means. So, Bragg exhumed this seven-year-old corpse of a case; and you know it's easy to snooker a grand jury, the old saying being you can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. That's what he has done," Jarrett said.

While some may clearly see politics in Bragg's pursuit of Trump, Jarrett argues it would be unwise to assume that things will get set straight in a courtroom where the outcome could depend on the political persuasion of the judge who draws the case.

"I think he's going to have a difficult time in front of a judge moving forward unless he gets the typical liberal New York judge who doesn't (care) about the law," he said.

As it stands now the case is not only baseless but criminal, Jarrett added. "This case ought to be tossed out – and frankly, if I were the judge I'd sanction Bragg for his egregious abuse of power and the corrupt weaponization of the law for political gain.

"It's obvious because there's no credible evidence, so Bragg contorted the law in this brazen attempt to inflate his case. This is serious prosecutorial misconduct."

The attorney doesn't stop there.

"It's selective prosecution," Jarrett continued. "Hillary Clinton did essentially the same thing that Trump is accused of doing. She secretly paid a million bucks to Christopher Steele for the phony dossier and listed it as a legal expense. She was eventually fined by the Federal Election Commission, but New York prosecutors never looked at the Clinton case. Of course not because, you know, it's Hillary."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sidebar added after story was originally posted.