Former District Attorney Warns Trump Against 'Criminal' Threats To Bragg

Cyrus Vance

Cyrus Vance

Former Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance offered some free advice to indicted ex-President Donald Trump on Sunday's edition of Meet the Press. Vance, whose successor Alvin Bragg filed thirty-four charges against Trump last week, urged Trump to tread carefully because his continued bombast against Bragg and the American legal system could further sour his image to a jury and potentially add accusations of additional criminal behavior.

"If you were the prosecutor, which one of those three hurdles would you see to be the highest?" NBC News moderator Chuck Todd asked Vance in reference to the enormous task that Bragg has undertaken by choosing to prosecute Trump for, most notably, orchestrating a hush money payoff to adult film entrepreneur Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.

"Well, I think this is obviously a case of great consequence and a case that's never happened before. So, it's novel in and of itself. I think there's, I think the – if I'm guessing about the president's strategy and it's only a guess, and he will have excellent lawyers – is that they will take a run at the law first perhaps on the question of whether or not the misdemeanors can be elevated," Vance said.

"That's probably more a question of law than a question of fact and will take a run there first. It would not surprise me if the attorneys representing the former president tried to move into federal court on some ancillary action as they did with us, and to have that action somehow be reviewed, try to be reviewed on the federal side and, and, and have some impact, therefore, on whether the state court could go forward," Vance continued. "For example, asking for a stay because there's gonna be an election in a year-and-a-half, and this case there, the state case shouldn't go forward. So those are, those are avenues that I think that, that you, you'll see."

Vance also explained that Trump's erstwhile personal lawyer Michael Cohen – who went to prison for the Daniels scheme as well as lying to Congress – may be a tough witness to Bragg to present to jurors.

"Of course, Cohen will be tacked heavily, but the, the flip side of that, of course, is Cohen worked for Mr. Trump. And, you know, and, and they obviously had a working relationship. So we often find in criminal cases that the, the witnesses who are involved aren't necessarily, uh, you know, the, they're, they're not priests or nuns. They, they are who they are in whatever organization they have," he noted.

"Final question is this. What's the likelihood..." Todd began.

"I would add something else, Chuck," Vance interjected.

"No, go ahead," Todd replied.

"Well, I, I've gotta say that I, I was disturbed to hear the former president speak in the way he spoke about attor – about the district attorney Bragg and even the trial court in the past week. And I think if I were his lawyer and believe me know when it's called up to ask for my advice, uh, I would be mindful of committing some other criminal offense, like obstruction of governmental administration, which is interfering with or, you know, by, by threat or otherwise the operation of government," Vance cautioned. "And I think that could take what perhaps we think is not the strongest case when you add account like that, put it in front of a jury, it can change the jury's mind about the severity of the case that they're looking at."

Watch below or at this link.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.


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