With the Trump Arraignment, Americans Are Seeing the Power of the Local Prosecutor

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has written himself into the history books and future pub trivia questions by becoming the first prosecutor to pursue criminal charges against a former president. Whether his case against Donald Trump is successful or not, Americans nationwide are now seeing the power that local prosecutors wield, sometimes capriciously.

The Manhattan D.A.’s investigation took nearly five years, and both Bragg’s predecessor and the Federal Election Commission declined to file charges on the same evidence. Reason‘s Jacob Sullum wrote in a recent breakdown of the case against Trump that Bragg is “relying on debatable facts, untested legal theories, and allegations that are tawdry but far from earthshaking.” The New York Times somewhat more gently described the meanderings of Bragg’s investigation as a “circuitous and sometimes uncertain road.”

Political opponents of Trump may insist it’s the destination, not the journey, that matters, but Republicans and conservative commentators have lambasted Bragg’s decision to file charges as nakedly political abuse of prosecutorial discretion. Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis called it the “weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda.”

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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