Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Faces Political Maelstrom as Trump Trial Begins

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg finds himself at the center of a political maelstrom as the trial against former President Donald Trump commences. Bragg, who became Manhattan’s first Black district attorney two years ago, has faced criticism from conservative critics who claim he is not tough enough on crime. The upcoming trial, which focuses on alleged hush money payments made during the 2016 election, will test Bragg’s ability to remain apolitical amidst relentless attacks from Trump and his supporters.

Trump has labeled Bragg a “thug” and a “degenerate psychopath,” urging his followers to take action against what he perceives as a threat to the country. Bragg, however, has maintained that the prosecution against Trump is no different from any other case of financial crime. He has faced racist emails, death threats, and a high level of hate since bringing the indictment against the former president.

The trial, which marks the first-ever trial of a former U.S. president, alleges that Trump falsified business records while compensating his lawyer, Michael Cohen, for burying stories about extramarital affairs during the 2016 presidential race. The charges carry the possibility of jail time and could impact Trump’s campaign schedule as he faces a general election rematch with President Joe Biden.

Bragg, who grew up in Harlem and had personal experiences with police encounters, began his career as a criminal defense and civil rights lawyer. He joined the federal prosecutor’s office in Manhattan and later oversaw investigations into police killings and a lawsuit that led to the shutdown of Trump’s charitable foundation while serving in the New York attorney general’s office.

Since taking office, Bragg has faced criticism for his memo instructing prosecutors not to seek jail time for certain low-level offenses. He has also been accused of allowing rampant lawlessness, despite crime rates in Manhattan remaining lower than before his tenure. The district attorney’s decision not to seek pretrial detention for some accused individuals drew criticism from both conservatives and Democratic officials.

Bragg’s office successfully pressured the Trump Organization’s chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, into pleading guilty to tax evasion charges. The office also secured a conviction against Trump’s company on similar tax charges. Following these victories, Bragg convened a new grand jury, resulting in the indictment of Trump for allegedly falsifying payments to Cohen.

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

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