Opinions

The case against Trump by Alvin Bragg could crumble this week



Despite being critics of the “hush money” case against Donald Trump and its questionable legal foundation, the lack of new evidence presented by the prosecutors has surprised many.

It was assumed that no reasonable prosecutor would build a major criminal case primarily on the testimony of Michael Cohen, who was recently denounced by a judge for his perjury and “perverse” theories in court.

It’s now clear that Alvin Bragg is counting on the jury to convict Trump regardless of the evidence, which is why he may fear the case being decided by the judge. The defense is expected to move for a directed verdict based on the insufficiency of evidence after the government presents its case this week.

After three weeks of testimony, there is still confusion over the crime Trump is accused of. Bragg’s claim that characterizing payments to Stormy Daniels as “legal expenses” constitutes a fraud to steal the election is vague and questionable.

Judge Juan Merchan has been criticized for not protecting the rights of the accused in this case, and he now faces a decision on the motion for a directed verdict.

In order to prevent a directed verdict, Bragg needs to present evidence directly linking Trump to a fraudulent scheme to conceal a crime. So far, this evidence has been lacking, with many witnesses inadvertently helping Trump’s case.

Prosecutors have turned to Michael Cohen as a key witness, but his credibility is questionable given his history of serving his own interests. Everything hinges on his testimony, which must prove Trump’s knowledge and intent in the alleged scheme.

With Trump unlikely to testify due to earlier court rulings, Bragg aims to rely on Cohen’s testimony alone to persuade the jury. Whether this tactic will succeed remains to be seen.

Jonathan Turley is an attorney and professor at George Washington University Law School.



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