by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Rich Lowry of National Review Online says the New York prosecution of former President Donald Trump is proving problematic.
You don’t know what’s in the indictment.
How many times did progressives say that to conservatives dubious about Alvin Bragg’s case?
Well, we’ve seen the indictment, and we still don’t know the other crime that’s being alleged, besides falsifying business records, because Bragg didn’t specify it.
What will be the new talking point? You don’t know what Bragg might come up with between now and the next hearing on December 4?
Perhaps the most encouraging thing about this sorry episode so far is that Bragg has demonstrated that it’s possible to behave so egregiously in the pursuit of Donald Trump that even left-of-center pundits won’t line up in support.
I wouldn’t say this is enormously confidence-inducing, but at a time of deep divisions it shows that a disgracefully weak and contrived prosecution is a source of at least a measure of agreement among commentators usually wholly opposed to one another.
Thank you, Alvin Bragg! You are the uniter our country has always needed!
Slate, a reliable source of some of the worst legal analysis on the internet, has run two doubtful pieces about the indictment. Mark Joseph Stern notes that “Bragg’s legal theory is, if not convoluted, a fairly confusing effort to patch together disparate offenses into one alleged crime, carried out over 34 illegal payments.”
Over at Vox, Ian Millhiser, usually a taker on any adventurous progressive legal theory, can’t get on board the Bragg Train on this one: “It is unclear that the felony statute that Trump is accused of violating actually applies to him.”
Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post warned about the potential weakness of the case prior to the unsealing of the indictment and is now decidedly unimpressed. She calls it “disturbingly unilluminating, and the theory on which it rests is debatable at best, unnervingly flimsy at worst.”