There’s No There There: How Alvin Bragg’s Case Imploded This Week With Michael Cohen’s Disastrous Testimony

With week four of the Alvin Bragg show trial in the books, it is now crystal clear (if somehow it already wasn’t) that the New York District Attorney has no case.  As it stands, the two star witnesses for the prosecution – Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen – proved cataclysmic; so much so that even liberal talking heads like Anderson Cooper and Alyssa Farah fretted on networks like CNN, saying they would acquit President Trump of all allegations given just how bad Cohen’s testimony was.

Of course, what precisely those allegations are remains a mystery – to everyone, including likely Bragg himself.  Lost in all the sensationalism of this case is the stubborn fact that there is no there there.  We are all left scratching our heads still for an explanation why an apparent FEC violation is being brought in state court?  We are also left wondering why such an offense is a crime at all.

This case has been skewering in court for a month now, following a seven-year stretch in which the underlying allegations ping-ponged from federal agency to federal agency, to be passed on one after the other because – and I risk repeating myself – there is no crime for which to prosecute anyone. Not seven years ago, nor now.

Case in point: we still have not heard a theory of criminality.  Typically, in a court of law, a crime is propounded by the prosecution.  It is incumbent upon the State to prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.  If one or more elements fail that test, the defendant is acquitted. Case closed.

This is the first criminal proceeding in the history of New York criminal law in which not even a crime has been articulated when the case was brought to trial.  There are a ton of rumors of course – and ridiculous, groundless speculation – that President Trump could face anywhere between 30 days and 130 years if he is convicted.  The prosecution has hid the ball, however, all throughout the proceeding.

This would ordinarily not make any sense. But it is apparent that Bragg’s strategy is this:  because there is no crime, it is necessary to muddy the waters and confuse the jurors as much as possible.  Hence, the delays, innuendo, porn-stars, and unprecedented rule-breaking.

Bragg is betting that all twelve jurors are even dumber than he as to not realize that the prosecutors are running roughshod around the normal rules governing a criminal trial.  He thinks, perhaps owing to his own lack of intelligence (after all, Bragg is a DEI appointee), that all the chicanery and sabotage of the rule of law that has defined this trial so far will go unnoticed by the twelve jurors.  For that would seem to be the only way Bragg, at this point, would be able to get a conviction.  In any other situation, this case would have already been dismissed.

Perhaps he is right.  Perhaps the jurors are as dumb as Bragg believes them to be.  Although their identities have not been publicly disclosed, there is every reason to believe they are sympathetic to Bragg’s politics, given that they were handpicked by far-left prosecutors in far-left Manhattan, which, in 2020, voted for Biden over Trump 9 to 1.

But even if that all were true, the jurors would have to be extreme ideologues to digest the absolute dumpster fire of a testimony that unfurled in that courthouse this past week to rule in the prosecutor’s favor.  Again, it would only require one juror to break ranks to cause a hung jury – that is all President Trump needs.

And after this week, with Michael Cohen testifying that he’s had a longstanding personal vendetta against the leading candidate to be America’s next president after being snubbed of a long-desired White House post during President Trump’s first administration – either as Chief of Staff, for which he expressed deep interest to many confidantes, or White House Counsel – it would take only the most devout anti-Trump juror to accept Bragg’s so-called “theory” of liability.

In liberal Manhattan, it is reasonable to believe maybe a handful, even a majority, of the jurors are ideological fanatics, in lockstep with Bragg, James, and Merchan in their TDS-levels.  But all twelve?  That is likely, hopefully, a bridge too far, even for the most passionate liberal.

Why? Well, notwithstanding that any of the jurors are blackmailed or gaslit into marching to the beat of Bragg and Merchan’s orders (which is a real possibility), it is pretty safe to say at this point that Bragg’s sham show trial has completely unraveled.

For his part, Donald Trump is coming out of this looking better than ever – and the poll numbers express it.  The court of public opinion, where some morsels of justice still exist, have clearly exposed Bragg’s trial for what it is: an assault on the integrity of the justice system. The President’s skyrocketing momentum is the ultimate indictment of the goings-on in that kangaroo courthouse.

In Merchan’s court, the rule of law does not apply: the laws governing the admission of evidence and the exclusion of such hearsay like prior bad acts and prejudicial character assassination are plainly inoperative.

Nor too do the rules pertaining to conflicts of interest – if they did, the case would never have been able to get off the ground.  Merchan’s wife worked for Letitia James, and his daughter has Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as clients through her political consulting firm. For a second time (or third? I’ve lost count): case closed.

What is more, Bragg’s lead prosecutor, Matthew Colangelo, was the number three appointee of Joe Biden’s DOJ, proving a direct link to the Biden Regime itself.

No lawyer with Colangelo’s resume would ever step down from a government post as prestigious as Colangelo’s former position at the Department of Justice, in exchange for working in a drab state D.A.’s office, unless he was operating under the order to, in the infamous words of the New York AG, “get” Donald Trump.  No greater case of election-interference exists in American history.

Also ignored in Merchan’s court are the rules governing venue.  Allegedly, this is an FEC violation – that is what we are being told forms the nucleus of the underlying crime.  The FEC, last I checked, in a federal agency – meaning it implicates federal issues, not state issues.

Thus, the issue should have been preempted or barred until the FEC took up the case.  So, pray tell, why are we in state court?  We know already that hush money payments and NDAs, as unsavory as they may seem, are perfectly lawful.  They have always been legal, and have never, ever – until President Trump’s trial – formed the basis for a criminal prosecution, let alone a felony crime.

And yet here we are.  Is Merchan suggesting that anyone who has ever signed an NDA or made a hush money payment a crime?  That, at least, would appear to be the novel precedent being set by his court.  That would mean at least half the American population should be put behind bars. Equal justice under law, right?

But perhaps the most unbelievable precedent being set by Merchan of all is the idea that a serial liar, and convicted perjurer, could, simply on the basis of his prejudicial and contradiction-riven testimony, forge the entire theory of liability for a criminal trial!

And yet, that is exactly what is happening in Merchan’s courthouse with the testimony of Michael Cohen.  The State’s entire case rests on the credibility of a known fraudster and liar.

Cohen even admitted on the stand, on more than one occasion, to being a known fraudster and liar (and dare I add: sleaze-bag).  He shamelessly announced on the witness stand that his intent all along has been to subject President Trump to the same process that he went through.  He was unapologetic about it. That was his motive from the get-go. And yet, here we are.

Even when President Trump is exonerated of these bogus charges, an inevitability, the damage to the rule of law has been already done.  It will take generations at least to rehabilitate the integrity of the criminal justice system, which has been torn to smithereens with shameless abandon in Juan Merchan’s courthouse.

That is the real tragedy of this whole charade; and hopefully a lesson that is not lost on those of us so unfortunate to bear witness to the dismal death of America’s justice system in real time.

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Paul Ingrassia is a Constitutional Scholar; a two-time Claremont Fellow, and is on the Board of Advisors of the New York Young Republican Club and the Italian American Civil Rights League. He writes a widely read Substack that is regularly re-truthed by President Trump. Follow him on X @PaulIngrassia, Substack, Truth Social, Instagram, and Rumble.

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Thanks for sharing!