Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg wants to be seen as a progressive hero, and targeting former President Donald Trump is the best way for him to achieve that.
He is already getting the desired results. A gushing Politico profile described Bragg as “politics-averse” and “by-the-book” and claims he “isn’t a pushover.” The targeting of Trump makes Bragg a “convenient target,” and Trump accuses all his enemies of political bias. Bragg is just a poor public servant trying to make sure the criminal justice system is fair, according to Politico, which is exactly the kind of image Bragg wants to cultivate.
But Bragg is not “politics-averse.” He is one of the many big city progressive district attorneys supported by left-wing megadonor George Soros, who has sought out district attorneys who are weak on crime. The case brought by Bragg is not sound — in fact, it is probably unprecedented. As one former prosecutor told the Washington Examiner, “To call it a novel prosecution would be an understatement.” Were Trump not the target, there is little doubt this case would never be pursued.
Nor is Bragg “by-the-book.” In fact, as soon as he took office, he threw the book out, ordering prosecutors in his office not to seek prison sentences for criminals outside of a handful of cases. When faced with a first-degree rape and first-degree sexual assault case, Bragg had a criminal plead down to second-degree coercion. This helped the criminal avoid a 25-year prison sentence.
Bragg still could have forced the rapist to serve four years, but he instead gave the man a sentence of 30 days. That man went on to sexually assault or harass five more victims.
Is that supposed to be “by the book?”
What about the time when Bragg threw elderly Jose Alba into Riker’s Island prison for defending himself against a violent parolee who was threatening his life? Only public outrage over video of the incident forced Bragg to free the victim. Even so, the girlfriend of the criminal, who had stabbed him, went free anyway. Is that “by the book?”
If Bragg is anything, he is certainly a pushover for violent criminals. The two cases mentioned above are not outliers, they are representative of Bragg’s tenure and worldview. He wants criminals, even violent criminals, to serve as little time in prison as possible. That is his idea of “reform.” If Trump had, say, shot someone on Fifth Avenue, the only question would be whether Bragg would give him any prison time at all.
Bragg is not pursuing an indictment of Trump because he is “by the book” and looking to uphold the sanctity of the criminal justice system. It is a political ploy to make himself a progressive hero and to keep the heat off of him as he lets violent criminals off the hook so that they can continue to make new victims. As Politico has shown, it is working. Establishment media are inexplicably flocking to his defense and sweeping his terrible policies under the rug.