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Entering Summations Week, One Thing Is Clear: Merchan’s Show Trial Is A Travesty Of The Justice System

Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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by Paul Ingrassia
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Alvin Bragg is attempting to charge President Trump with a Class E felony, which is a crime under New York state law.  Felonies are typically crimes punishable by more than a year in prison.  We know by now that Bragg’s case is riven with errors – and it remains inexplicable why, to the extent President Trump has violated any criminal statute at all, he is still being charged with a felony, rather than a misdemeanor.  Of course, the reality is that President Trump committed no crime.  But even the statute that Alvin Bragg has cited to base his alleged theory of liability, Penal Law § 175.10, expressly states “a person is guilty of falsifying business … in the second degree, and when his intent to defraud includes an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof.”  Bragg must not have the attention span (or intelligence) to read the rest of the statute, which blatantly spells out: “Falsifying business records in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.”  A misdemeanor at most, not a felony.  So, why the bloody hell are Bragg and Merchan treating this like a criminal felony?

Part of the reason we still do not know so much of anything about this case is because the presiding judge, Juan Manuel Merchan, has not allowed any discussion whatsoever of Bragg’s criminal theory of liability through expert witnesses.  We have so far heard ad nauseam from Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen, who were the prosecution’s one-two punch used to assassinate President Trump’s character in the courtroom and deny him the presumption of innocence, about how bad a man Donald Trump supposedly is. But hardly anything from the Defense!  Why?  Because Merchan would not allow it!

Instead, the Defense has only been allowed to bring in one witness, Robert Costello, a battle-tested defense attorney of the SDNY and former legal adviser of Michael Cohen.  For his part, Cohen’s testimony arguably did more to discredit the People’s theory of the case than Donald Trump’s – after all, he admitted to lying on the stand under Congressional oath years ago, stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the Trump Organization, committing perjury, and profiting off the trial, among a litany of other damning revelations.  Costello drove the nail in the coffin, corroborating Cohen’s own testimony that his former client is a liar, fraudster, and perjurer – who acted totally independently and without President Trump’s knowledge.

Nevertheless, the Defense has every right to bring in cooperative witnesses of their own – expert witnesses, who can speak to the propriety of the laws being applied, for example, and clarify both to jurors and the press from whom the rest of the world is loath to rely upon to hear about these proceedings (given that no television cameras are allowed in the courtroom), about how a certain law should be interpreted.  In fact, not only is a criminal defendant permitted to bring in cooperative witnesses: but he has a constitutional prerogative to do so.  Yet, those fundamental rights are being made into mincemeat by Merchan and Bragg, in real time – with impunity.

Thus, Merchan’s decision last week to bar expert testimony from a former FEC commissioner, who was a cooperative witness for the defense, was a blow to the justice system.  Already, Merchan’s show trial has repeatedly (and rightly) been called a “sham trial” and “kangaroo court” for his flagrant disregard of judicial norms, professional ethics, due process, and the rule of law. 

It is bad enough that the Judge gagged the defendant, hamstringing the presidential frontrunner from using his social media platform, Truth Social, to expose the innumerable conflicts implicating Merchan that would normally disqualify any other sitting judge from being allowed to continue presiding over a criminal trial of this kind. But now, the judge has decided to take things one step further by unilaterally denying the Defendant’s right to bring expert witnesses into the courtroom.  Merchan has declared like a tinpot dictator, almost verbatim according to those with intimate knowledge of the proceeding, that “only I can say what the law means!”  To hell with longstanding legal precedent, to say nothing of the rules of evidence and criminal procedure that are supposed to regulate a trial of this sort – and which, given the importance of the Defendant, should be rigorously upheld.  This, especially considering what devastation a trial involving the next President might wreck on the integrity of the justice system overall.

Merchan has so far run roughshod over the rule of law, making a casualty of the legitimacy of the New York State criminal system in the process.  The statute cited above requires two crimes to raise the falsification scheme to a first-degree felony.  The fraud must have been done with “an intent to commit another crime or to aid or conceal the commission thereof.”  Bragg’s prosecutors are now claiming that the second crime is some ill-defined FEC violation, which raises a slew of separate legal questions.  But not being able to interrogate an expert on federal election law in court is the ultimate miscarriage of a justice system already loaded with abuses and unprecedented violations.

Especially now with the FEC issue front and center, it raises the separate issue of why this case is being brought in state court altogether, and not federal court?  If the case involves a federal issue, the jurisdiction here is all wrong: state courts have no authority over the subject matter.  This is a case that would normally get preempted or barred by federal courts – the FEC, a federal agency, has its own intricate rules over election-related questions and thus exclusive jurisdiction over any such matters. 

At a bare minimum, an expert witness should be allowed to opine on the issue in state court – and not be prohibited because it hurts the judge’s ego.  This is a clear reversible error because the President’s fundamental rights have been so callously violated.  This abuse alone should have prompted a mistrial – it is the reason, as well, why so many legal commentators and scholars have said this case will be easily tossed on appeal, because of the widespread, undeniable prejudice that was allowed to take place under these unprecedented conditions.

All of which only further underscores that Judge Merchan is not acting like a reasonable judge taking seriously his constitutional oath to apply the law faithfully and impartially but as a political hack overseeing the weaponization (and corruption) of the rule of law in the once free Republic known as the United States.  Merchan has retrofitted his office into another partisan instrument to suppress enemies of the Biden Regime, nothing more.  This trial is a witch-hunt, a hatchet job, and a kangaroo court of the highest order.  It is a colossal waste of money and time, and an egregious misallocation of precious resources – like NYPD personnel and vehicles – that should be used to patrol the streets of violent crime and illegal migrants. 

Every single American should be enraged by the corruption of justice being done in real-time, and no matter the verdict of this trial, it will go down in infamy as a permanent blotch on the justice system, one that will take at least a generation to restore back to the glory it once had prior to Juan Merchan, Alvin Bragg, and Joe Biden taking a battering ram to it with disregard for the rights of every American.

A slightly modified version of this piece was originally published in The Gateway Pundit, and can be found here.

Paul Ingrassia is a Constitutional Scholar; Communications Director of the NCLU; 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 LeagueHe writes a widely read Substack that is regularly posted on Truth Social by President Trump. Follow him on X @PaulIngrassiaSubstackTruth SocialInstagram, and Rumble.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AMAC or AMAC Action.

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Dan W.
Dan W.
14 days ago

I am still expecting a mistrial with one or more of the jurors failing to find that the prosecution proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. However, if there is a conviction and if what you say is true, a conviction should be easily overturned on appeal.

MaybeSo
MaybeSo
14 days ago

These Democrats are slime, the flotsam sewage in collusion with D.C. The DOJ/AG is a Biden sycophant because he was kept from the SCOTUS Justice seat by Republicans. His bitterness spells collaboration with local Dems to impede any Republican running for office all the way up and down the ticket. The NYS AG based her entire career on “getting Trump” even as there was no crime apparent. So she and Bragg, a Soros-funded lackey, are in iaohoots with each other and with D.C. all the way up the line, concocting, fabricating and charging DJT with absurdities. The Democrats are out of control, harming OUR country severely and using Biden as the empty vehicle in which they can drive their policies and maintain their catastrophic, unconstitutional powers. In all my life I’ve never seen the corruption I’ve witnessed under Obama and now Biden. Average Americans are probably not attuned to the vicious, toxic creature the Democrat Party has made itself, but those of us who care, need to oust them and fight as hard as we can against this poison they emit.

Trampled_by_Skunks
Trampled_by_Skunks
14 days ago

Merchan should be disbarred the minute the trial is over.

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
14 days ago

Whole NYC NY Justice system is Corrupt day 1

MARCI
MARCI
14 days ago

TOTALLY agree

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
14 days ago

As far as I can tell there’s nothing to Bragg about whatsoever.

Tom
Tom
14 days ago

Yes from one which was resposible for a large company. So often things are claified by those in accounting or another. We typically do not have any idea as we are focused on the next 10, 20 years projections.
My quesiton is that how much will these action cost New Y and why cant Bragg or Judge be held responbile for the use of those tax payer funds? You could be next!!! Better stand up now.

James DeBona
James DeBona
13 days ago

I’m not so much concerned about the verdict as I am about all the actual criminals, including the ones in robes that brought about this atrocity. Any reasonable appeals judge will toss this case out immediately with extreme prejudice! I want to see Merchan, Bragg and other Democrat operatives dis-barred, indicted, and then sent to prison themselves. Losing their livelihood as well as their freedom should do the trick for me!

Gerald
Gerald
13 days ago

This whole sequence of court action against president Trump is nothing short of an end run-around to a BILL OF ATTAINDER. Are we all too young to remember how the NAZI party in Germany used it against the Jews? Now the liberal party (takers of wealth, freedom, and life) are using it against conservatives (makers of life, freedom, and wealth). Look out! We don’t want another civil war.

Randall L. Beatty
Randall L. Beatty
13 days ago

All the corruption in that city shows what they will do to make sure dummy Biden and Harris win. Others should go to jail and that is not President Trump all the liars that put President Trump on trial. They will do anything to make sure Biden and Harris win.

Robert
Robert
13 days ago

With all the illegalities present in the way this trial is being (mis)conducted you’d think the Supreme Court would intervene in this fiasco and charge the so called Judge in this case!

anna hubert
anna hubert
14 days ago

This nauseating spectacle is going on to stop Trump He will be stopped by any means necessary long enough to not interfere with the “election” After that it will not matter what he does The danger of him becoming a president will be averted and we’ll be back on the slippery slope only slipperier and more dangerous this time

Jimmy Page
Jimmy Page
14 days ago

GOT MY CHECKBOOK OUT! … If he’s found guilty, I’m writing one doozy of a check to Mr. President. MAGA 2024!

Speaking of
Speaking of
14 days ago

I have heard of age doing things to a man but it looks like it went after him with a hammer lol

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