How Trump’s claims of arrest ‘on Tuesday’ may have improved his legal woes

APTOPIX Trump Legal Troubles
Former President Donald Trump gestures as he departs Trump Tower, Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2022, in New York, on his way to the New York attorney general’s office for a deposition in a civil investigation. Julia Nikhinson/AP

How Trump’s claims of arrest ‘on Tuesday’ may have improved his legal woes

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Former President Donald Trump‘s claims that he would be arrested “on Tuesday” may not thwart an eventual indictment in a case surrounding hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, though the media storm he ignited may have bought him some time and support, according to legal experts.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is investigating whether Trump falsified business records to hide the hush money payments as legal expenses after his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, paid $130,000 to Daniels to prevent her from going public with an alleged affair she had with Trump in 2006.

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But just three days after his claims on Saturday of a forthcoming arrest, the former president raised $1.5 million and took back a strong lead in polls against his would-be GOP opponents for the presidential nomination, with a recent Morning Consult poll showing Trump leading Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) by 28 percentage points.

“This is Trump’s attempt to stay any sort of actual prosecution,” William Jacobson, a Cornell Law professor and founder of Legal Insurrection, told conservative radio host Tony Katz this week.

“This is his attempt to create a media firestorm, which he’s great at doing. … And to put pressure on the DA’s office not to go that last step, whether that will work — but that’s how I read it,” Jacobson added.

On Thursday, reports emerged stating the grand jury overseeing Bragg’s investigation would not hear the Trump case, resulting in a delay of a potential indictment of the former president until at least next week.

Meanwhile, the gap between Trump’s claims of being arrested and the present has left room for House Republicans to demand answers of Bragg, some of which have accused his investigation of being a political vendetta against a former president.

In response to those lawmakers, Bragg was forced to address Trump’s incorrect indictment prediction as a “false expectation” of what was to come.

“Your letter dated March 20, 2023 … is an unprecedented inquiry into a pending local prosecution. The letter only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day and his lawyers reportedly urged you to intervene,” Bragg wrote Thursday to House Republicans. “Neither fact is a legitimate basis for congressional inquiry.”

In lower Manhattan, law enforcement erected metal barriers and prepared for demonstrations over a would-be arrest. Meanwhile, dozens gathered outside of Trump’s Florida home in protest while potential 2024 presidential candidates were questioned by the media about the possibility of Trump’s New York indictment and forced to come to his defense to maintain good standing with the GOP base.

Alan Dershowitz, lawyer and Harvard Law School professor emeritus who also defended Trump in his first impeachment trial, told the Washington Examiner he thinks “it’s certainly possible” Bragg delayed plans to indict Trump to have the former president’s prediction fall flat on its face.

“Because Bragg certainly doesn’t want Trump to get credit for knowing when it was going to be,” according to Dershowitz, who also believes Bragg’s case “legally has no standing at all.”

Bragg’s indictment, if it ever comes, has been referenced as a “zombie” case because federal officials previously declined to prosecute Trump over the hush money payments, with Bragg himself considering and rejecting a prosecution on the same grounds.

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“I mean, it’s worse than a zombie case,” Dershowitz said. “Zombies were once alive. This case never had any life to it — made up from the very beginning, and it’s also a clear violation of the statute of limitations.”

The Harvard professor, however, appeared to side with Bragg’s statement on the “unprecedented inquiry” raised by Republicans in the House seeking testimony from Bragg, saying, “I don’t like Congress interfering with law enforcement any more than I like Democratic elected politicians interfering. I think the administration of justice should be nonpolitical.”

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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