In Mar-a-Lago, Donald Trump discusses the indictment in a quick, rambling speech.
The Associated Press spoke with legal experts about the concerns highlighted by Trump’s indictment.
“The basic line is that it’s ambiguous,” said Richard Hasen, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and an expert in election law. “And the district attorney did not provide a clear legal analysis of how they can accomplish this, how they can avoid these possible stumbling blocks.” And it has the ability to stall the case for a long period.”
“There are a lot of dots here that need to be connected,” said Richard Klein, a Touro Law Center criminal law professor. The indictment, according to Bragg, does not detail the potential underlying offenses since the law does not require it. With the possibility of a legal challenge by Trump’s attorneys, “you’d think they’d want to be on much solid ground than some of this stuff,” said Klein, a former New York City public defender.
Hasen stated that it is unclear if candidates for federal office may be punished under state election laws. The defense may also contend that because the issue involves a federal election statute, it cannot be filed in state court.
While the prosecution’s hypothesis is unorthodox, some experts believe it is not unwinnable.
Bragg will “bring in witnesses and show a lot of documentary evidence to try to demonstrate that all of these payments were in furtherance of the presidential campaign,” according to Jerry H. Goldfeder, a veteran election lawyer in New York and the director of Fordham Law School’s Voting Rights and Democracy Project.
“It will be interesting to see if he can prove that beyond a reasonable doubt,” Goldfeder remarked. “Do not underestimate District Attorney Alvin Bragg, and do not overestimate Mr. Trump,” he continued.
So far today
After surrendering to police and pleading not guilty to 34 counts of falsifying company records, Donald Trump offered a brief, vexing address from his Florida home.
Trump became the first president of the United States to face criminal accusations. According to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the ex-president faces 34 felony charges of altering records “with a purpose to cheat and hide another crime,” adding that “these are felony crimes in New York state, regardless of who you are.”
Trump’s court appearance, in which he was fingerprinted but not arrested, came just five days after a New York grand jury opted to prosecute him following a year-long investigation.
The allegations center on payments made by Trump to cover up an affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels, as well as hush money arrangements with Playboy model Karen McDougal and a former Trump Tower doorman. According to the district attorney’s office, Trump “orchestrated a conspiracy” to “influence the 2016 presidential election by discovering and acquiring damaging material about him to conceal its dissemination and improve the defendant’s electoral prospects.”
Separately, Trump is being investigated for his participation in the January 6 insurgency and his retention of secret information at Mar-a-Lago after leaving office. He is also under investigation for attempting to overthrow Georgian elections. The New York State Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against Trump, his family, and the Trump Organization for alleged financial wrongdoing.
He is also facing a defamation claim stemming from rape allegations.
Trump merged long-held grudges with concerns about the many investigations he faces, particularly the secret materials issue, in a meandering address. He repeated lies about the nature of the charges against him and personally insulted the prosecutors and investigators in charge of the cases.
The president only talked for around 25 minutes, which was much less than his usual time. Yet, the statements had many components of his regular rally stump speech. I will go off now, but my colleagues in Australia will continue to provide you with updates and analysis.