April 22, 2024

Former President Donald Trump holds a rally in Waco, Texas, on March 25. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Former Manhattan district attorney says Trump’s recent statements could strengthen the case against him

Former Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, who was previously investigating former President Donald Trump, said Trump’s statements regarding current District Attorney Alvin Bragg have the potential to strengthen the case against him with an added obstruction charge.

“I’ve got to say, I was disturbed to hear the former president speak in the way he spoke about the District Attorney Bragg and even the trial court in the past week,” Vance said Sunday in an interview on NBC’s “Meet The Press.”

“I think if I were his lawyer – and, believe me, no one (has) called up to ask for my advice — I would be mindful of not committing some other criminal offense like obstruction of governmental administration, which is interfering with — by threat or otherwise — the operation of government.”

Vance said adding an obstruction count to the charge could “change the jury’s mind about the severity of the case that they’re looking at.”

Democratic Sen. Manchin calls for transparency around Trump indictment

From CNN’s Gregory Clary

Sen. Joe Manchin speaks with CNN on Sunday, April 2. 
Sen. Joe Manchin speaks with CNN on Sunday, April 2.  (CNN)

Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, said “no one is above the law” but called for transparency in the legal process regarding the indictment of former President Donald Trump.

“No one is above the law … but no one should be targeted by the law, especially through the political process,” Manchin said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “So, we’ll just wait and see you next week. I hope they are very thorough on the job they do, and basically, people should have faith in this judicial system of ours.”

Manchin said he did not believe the former president was being politically targeted — as numerous Republicans and the former president himself have alleged this weekend. But, the West Virginia lawmaker added: “You have to remove all doubt. You have to make sure; cross every ‘t,’ dot every ‘i,’ as they say.”

Texas Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw also appeared on State of the Union Sunday and slammed Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for what he described as inconsistent application of the law.

“I think people need to ask themselves a fundamental question: If this were anyone but Trump, would this DA even take up this case?” Crenshaw said.

Crenshaw said Bragg “has a habit of not picking up cases that are pretty serious, like violent crime, prostitution rings, things like that, but he chooses to take up this one.”

“It feels obvious to all of us that it’s politically motivated, it’s personally motivated,” he added.

Host Dana Bash noted Crenshaw was speculating, because the indictment against Trump has not been unsealed yet, and Crenshaw’s claims about Bragg’s prosecutorial decisions may not be accurate.

Some context on Bragg: Bragg ran for district attorney as a reformer. He has aggressively pursued Trump and other progressive priorities since getting elected, including not prosecuting some low-level crimes and finding alternatives to incarceration for certain offenders.

Here’s what 2 of Trump’s potential presidential primary opponents said about his indictment this weekend
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu. (Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump is mounting a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, even as several legal controversies swirl around him.

Two of his potential opponents in the GOP primary — who have not yet formally announced candidacies — took different tacks when discussing Trump’s historic indictment this weekend.

Here is what they had to say:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis attacked Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for indicting “a former president on misdemeanor offenses” for “purely political purposes” in a speech Saturday at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference.

“That is when you know that the law has been weaponized for political purposes; that is when you know that the left is using that to target their political opponent,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis further attacked Bragg at a rally Saturday in Garden City, New York.

“This guy is all about politics. He comes in, his whole thing is he doesn’t want people to be in jail. He wants to downgrade felonies to misdemeanors,” the governor said “Really, really dangerous stuff. And then what does he do? He turns around, does a flimsy indictment against a former president of the United States.”

DeSantis said while Bragg is looking to lessen penalties on other offenders, he’s looking to charge Trump with a felony for business-related crimes that should be considered misdemeanors.

“This guy is doing politics. He has an agenda. That is not the rule of law,” DeSantis continued, as the crowd broke into applause that turned into a standing ovation.

Context on Bragg’s campaign: Bragg ran for district attorney as a reformer. He has aggressively pursued Trump and other progressive priorities since getting elected, including not prosecuting some low-level crimes and finding alternatives to incarceration for certain offenders.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, one of the few Republican 2024 hopefuls who did not immediately criticize Donald Trump’s indictment, said late Friday that the former president “shouldn’t be the nominee” and “can’t win” the 2024 election.

Sununu said on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” that the historic indictment has created a “circus.”

Asked if he thought Trump was guilty, the governor said: “You know what the indictments are? Like, I’m assuming he is, right?”

Sununu said the indictment “only helps” Trump with his supporters, but he doesn’t believe the former president should be the GOP’s nominee in the 2024 presidential election.

“I don’t think he’s going to be the nominee. He shouldn’t be the nominee. He can’t win in ’24,” the governor said. “But this builds a lot of empathy, sympathy, if you will. It solidifies his base.”

More from the potential 2024 GOP field: You can read remarks on the indictment from former Vice President Mike Pence, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and other Republicans to watch here.

Trump will deliver remarks at Mar-a-Lago Tuesday night after arraignment, his campaign says

From CNN’s Kristen Holmes

The exterior of Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home.
The exterior of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump will deliver remarks at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida when he returns from his arraignment Tuesday night, according to a news release from his campaign.

Trump is expected to appear in court Tuesday afternoon in Manhattan, sources tell CNN.

His attorney said the former president will voluntarily surrender to New York law enforcement and plans to mount legal challenges.

Trump legal team will look to challenge “every potential issue” once it sees charges, attorney says

From CNN’s Katelyn Polantz

Joe Tacopina speaks with CNN on Sunday.
Joe Tacopina speaks with CNN on Sunday. (CNN)

Former President Donald Trump’s legal team will make a robust response in court to try to challenge his indictment however it can once the charges are unsealed, Joe Tacopina, a Trump defense lawyer, said Sunday.

“The team will look at every potential issue that we will be able to challenge, and we will challenge,” Tacopina told CNN’s Dana Bash.

Tacopina and other Trump lawyers have done several TV interviews in anticipation of Trump’s first appearance in court on Tuesday, when he will learn the charges the grand jury approved against him.

Tacopina said Trump will plead not guilty.

At times, the former president’s lawyers have vowed to ask for the charges to be dismissed. They have consistently said they believe the charges will be thrown out. But the full slate remains under seal and still isn’t known.

At the arraignment, a judge will ultimately determine if the law is sound enough for the case to move forward to trial.

What a challenge could look like: The Trump team’s court challenge could center around the case’s expected reliance on business record entries that prosecutors tie to hush money payments to Stormy Daniels seven years ago.

Tacopina suggested in TV interviews Sunday the statute of limitations may have passed on any alleged misconduct related to those transactions.

“They’re not false entries. But assuming they were, they’re misdemeanors way beyond the statute of limitations, so they had to cobble them together to try and get a felony,” he said.

Trump’s legal team isn’t currently considering asking to move the case to a different New York City borough, Tacopina said.

“There’s been no discussion of that whatsoever,” he separately told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos in another interview Sunday. “It’s way too premature to start worrying about venue changes until we really see the indictment and grapple with the legal issues.”

Source: cnn.com

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