Alvin Bragg finished the ‘Get Trump’ job that Hillary Clinton started, but voters get last word

News Analysis: After a bogus FBI probe, two impeachments, one Mar-A-Lago raid, four indictments and multiple overturned ballot disqualifications, Democrats finally got what they wished. For now ...

Published: May 30, 2024 11:10pm

Updated: May 30, 2024 11:11pm

In one of the darkest hours in American history, after an ex-president for the first time was convicted in criminal court, Alvin Bragg could only smile and banter with laughing reporters. “I did my job,” the Manhattan district attorney declared to a breezy, whimsical news conference that belied the gravity of having just secured 34 felony convictions that could send Donald Trump to prison for life.

That job was not begun by Bragg, though he campaigned successfully to be New York City’s chief prosecutor with a bold promise he could be the guy that finally held Donald Trump accountable.

That job actually began with Hillary Clinton back in the spring of 2016 when her team of lawyers, opposition research hitmen and one ex-British spy concocted a now-laughable narrative that Trump somehow was colluding with Vladimir Putin to steal the 2016 election. Clinton then sold it to an FBI agent, which overtly misled the FISA court to sustain an investigation of a sitting commander in chief.

That probe imploded spectacularly, but not before it marred two full years of the Trump presidency. The implosion, remarkably, did not stop the left’s pursuit.

The Democrat machinery persisted with a relentless investigative wave that Harvard law professor emeritus (and Joe Biden 2020 supporter) Alan Dershowitz aptly has dubbed the “Get Trump” campaign.

Over the last eight years, that relentless campaign has subjected Americans to one bogus FBI probe, two impeachments, four indictments, multiple overturned ballot disqualifications, and one viral mug shot. Bragg's conviction and news conference led some legal experts to declare that Thursday's culmination of an eight-year Democrat onslaught smacked of a banana republic.

"We really are now looking at like a Third World country, and New York might as well rename itself Venezuela," federal election law expert Hans Van Spakovsky told the "Just the News, No Noise" television show.

Republicans said Thursday's verdict cannot be viewed in a vacuum and must be viewed as part of a continuum that was born by Clinton's Russia collusion antics.

“It's not just this one case,” former New York Rep. Lee Zeldin told Just the News on Thursday night. “They (Democrats) have been abusing the criminal justice system, abusing lawsuits that have been brought, the pursuit of trying to incarcerate President Trump for the rest of his life, to bankrupt him and his family, and to remove his name from the ballot.

"I think a lot of independent minded Americans will see through it more than ever."

On Thursday evening in a dour Manhattan courtroom, Democrats finally got what they wished for: the title of convicted felon hung around Trump’s neck. In July, just four days before Trump accepts the GOP nomination in Milwaukee, they’ll get a chance to possibly send him to prison if Judge Juan Merchan obliges.

But whether the title and sentence will be sustained now moves to the appeals court system in New York and eventually the Supreme Court before it is over. But the final judgment will likely take months or years to be rendered.

Respected criminal defense attorney Harmeet Dhillon said Trump's team has strong ground for appeal and that the Supreme Court would probably vacate the conviction.

"I don't think this is something that's going to be necessarily expedited until of course, or unless, the New York appeals court wants to do that for its own political purposes," she cautioned. 

In the meantime, the American electorate will issue a quicker verdict on whether “getting Trump” matters to them or the election.

President Joe Biden and other Democrats argued Thursday's verdict affirmed their claims that Trump is harmful to America.

"The threat Trump poses to our democracy has never been greater," the Biden campaign said in a post-verdict statement.

But the early polling suggests Americans see Bragg’s case as part of a political pursuit, not necessarily a legal one, that stretches back to Clinton’s 2016 Russia collusion antics.

A poll by McLaughlin and Associates, a firm that does work with Trump, found a clear majority of voters believe Biden was trying to put his likely 2024 Republican opponent in prison before the election.

Numerous other polls also predict a conviction would have no bearing on the outcome in November, where Trump is leading in most battleground states.

For instance, two-thirds of voters surveyed in a NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll released Thursday declared a guilty verdict would make no difference to their choice in the presidential election. Of those who said a guilty verdict would matter, they were nearly evenly divided between being less or more likely to vote for the presumptive nominee.

Veteran pollster Scott Rasmussen said he believes the Democrats have kept the race close with their allegation and prosecution machine but it likely won’t be a deciding factor in the November election in which Trump continues to lead.

“If you didn't have all these courtroom trials and these allegations, he might be further ahead,” Rasmussen told the "John Solomon Reports" podcast earlier this month. "But I think what, again, the elites are missing in this, they keep thinking, 'Well, if we get an indictment, people will finally wake up and realize all this baggage is there.' I think that baggage is already baked in. I think that baggage is the reason the race is close.”

Rasmussen suggested that Democrats need to be careful that what they wished for doesn’t boomerang. He predicted Democrats would be making a mistake to focus on the probes when Trump has been focusing on policy solutions for the economy, inflation, crime and the border that rank atop Americans’ biggest concerns.

“What does Donald Trump need to do?"  Rasmussen mused aloud. "He needs to do the same thing he did in 2016. Let the Democrats talk about him. Let them talk about what a jerk he is or what they don't like about him. And he needs to talk about issues."

Michael Whatley, Trump’s handpicked chairman of the Republican National Committee, said the GOP doesn’t plan to get distracted by the conviction or indictments and will instead focus on Biden’s failure to deliver in promises and Trump’s vision for a second term.

In other words, Republicans plan to focus on one question: Are you better off than you were four years ago? Right now, a supermajority believes Biden has made things worse.

“Look, the return to normal that he (Biden) promised has absolutely not happened. I think that America is now seeing through that in a very big way,” Whatley told the "Just the News, No Noise" television show. “You know, we tend to see this election coming down to a choice between weakness and strength.

“Joe Biden, and the weakness of our economy, the weakness of where we are internationally, the open southern border, these are all things that he has triggered in the US economy and our national security apparatus, versus the strength that President Trump had. You know, the fact that we had a record strong economy, the fact that we were a very solid place around the world, the fact that the border was the most secure that has ever been, these are the types of issues that voters are going to come out with.”

Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress hope they can deliver more evidence this summer to the American public that the Biden White House was directly behind the various prosecutions of the last two years and trace the tactics back to a “weaponization” script that began with Clinton’s Russia collision narrative that gave the FBI permission to spy on the Trump campaign during the 2016 campaign.

“I think the American people, as I said before, have common sense. They're smart. They see the escalation from the left and from the Democrats,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan told Just the News. ”You know, in 2016 ... they spied on President Trump's campaign. Then it was the Muller investigation. Then it was impeachment. Then it was raiding President Trump's home, then it was naming Jack Smith as special counsel. Then it was Jack Smith in Miami and in D.C., Alvin Bragg in New York, Fani Willis in Atlanta. Then it was the 14th Amendment. They tried all over the country in various states."

But Americans have “seen it for what it is. And so I think they they understand the facts. And that's one of the reasons why it's not impacting President Trump's numbers, and why I think he's going to be our next president," Jordan also said.

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook

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