Alvin Bragg's First Choice of Witness in Trump Trial Is Very 'Telling': Legal Expert

Alvin Bragg's First Choice of Witness in Trump Trial Is Very 'Telling': Legal Expert

As the criminal trial of former President Donald Trump enters its second week, the prosecution’s first witness is drawing criticism.

Trump is charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying documents. If convicted, he faces four years in prison.

On Monday, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg called former CEO American Media Inc David Pecker to the stand. American Media Inc., now called A360 Media, is the parent company of tabloid newspaper, “National Inquirer.”

Jonathan Turley, an attorney and Professor of Law of George Washington University, called the choice of Pecker “telling.”

Why is Turley so critical of Bragg’s choice of Pecker as his first witness?

Pecker’s involvement with Trump is not directly related to the 34 felony counts of falsifying documents he’s being charged with.

Instead, Pecker’s testimony is supposed to convince the jury of the prosecution’s charge that Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen paid adult film star Stormy Daniels‘ hush money regarding a one-night stand from 2006.

Trump has denied these allegations.

Pecker promised Trump he would be his “eyes and ears” after his campaign bid for the presidency was launched in 2015, according to Forbes. Pecker explained that AMI used “checkbook journalism” for stories in which they would pay for information that could prove potentially harmful to Trump.

Prosecutors are alleging, “AMI paid a doorman at a building owned by the Trump Organization $30,000 in exchange for information about allegations Trump had fathered a child out of wedlock (claims the Enquirer ultimately deemed were untrue), and also paid former Playboy model Karen McDougal $150,000 for rights to her story that she had an affair with Trump, also in 2006, but never published — what’s known as a ‘catch and kill’ scheme.”

Simply put, Pecker as Bragg’s first witness doesn’t relate directly to Trump’s case. The payments made to the doorman and McDougal aren’t part of the charges against him.

Granted, Forbes reported that Pecker alerted Cohen to Daniels’ trying to sell her story of the one-night stand, but this still doesn’t seem like a star witness.

Bragg’s case against Trump has been mired in criticism.

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney stated, “I believe President Trump’s character and conduct make him unfit for office. Even so, I believe the New York prosecutor has stretched to reach felony criminal charges in order to fit a political agenda.”

Republican Rep. Nancy Mace, who has been critical of Trump, wrote on X, “You’ve got to work hard to make President Trump a martyr,” quipping, “Congratulations to Manhattan DA, Alvin Bragg, who has managed to do just that.”

It seems Bragg’s strategy is to use Pecker to say, “Trump did something, so he definitely did the thing I’m accusing him of.”

Turley’s post on X says it all. “With a dubious criminal theory, defuse facts, and delayed charges, the case will focus on a different alleged affair and hush money payment …”

If Bragg’s case against Trump is anything other than political persecution, he isn’t proving it early on.

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