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“Alvin Bragg’s case has always been more about hurting President Trump’s campaign than enforcing the law. It is time for this brazen election interference to come an end.”

An Op-Ed Published In Newsweek
By Senator JD Vance | May 9, 2024

Four weeks into New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s criminal trial against Donald Trump, it’s clear this charade is more about partisan politics than law enforcement. The prosecution has failed to present evidence of wrongdoing. If this case had been assigned to a reasonable and impartial jurist, it would have been dismissed long ago. Unfortunately, a cadre of highly partisan left-wing operatives—including the prosecutors and presiding judge—have worked in concert to sustain the prosecution, and they are singularly focused on taking down Donald Trump.

Begin with the district attorney, who chose to bring charges against Trump in the first place. Bragg took office in January of 2022 and promptly presided over an immediate uptick in major crime. But instead of focusing on putting New York’s violent criminals behind bars, Bragg set his sights on the flagship promise of his campaign: prosecuting Donald Trump. That selective prosecution may have been influenced by the considerable support he received from left-wing super-donor George Soros, which included a seven-figure donation to groups that aired television ads supporting Bragg’s campaign, as well as personal campaign contributions from Soros’ children.

Next, consider that the prosecutor leading the case for Bragg’s office has an even more partisan background than Bragg himself. Before joining the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Matthew Colangelo was the number-three official at the Department of Justice. He was appointed to that position on day one of Joe Biden’s tenure in the White House. He is now the lead prosecutor seeking to imprison Donald Trump. To make matters worse, Colangelo has also served as a paid political consultant to the Democratic National Committee. His involvement in the case clearly demonstrates that the prosecution of Donald Trump is a brazen effort by Biden’s network of political allies to keep the Republican presidential nominee stuck in a courtroom and off the campaign trail.

Finally, there’s Judge Juan Merchan, the partisan Democrat presiding over the trial, who has similarly demonstrated his bias against Trump in multiple rulings. For example, in a likely violation of the American Bar Association’s code of judicial conduct, Judge Merchan donated to Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign. And his allegiance to the Democratic Party is familial as well as financial. His daughter earns a living by raising money for Democratic political candidates. In fact, her clients have been explicitly using the trial against Donald Trump—which her father is overseeing—to raise money for their campaigns.

This obviously conflicted judge should have recused himself months ago. Instead, Judge Merchan has trampled over President Trump’s First Amendment right to free speech by issuing an unconstitutional gag order. It’s a complete abuse of judicial power. In rare circumstances, judges can silence litigants to preserve a defendant’s presumption of innocence—but to impose a prior restraint on a criminal defendant running for political office is judicial malpractice. Gag orders are not designed to shield the judiciary and prosecution from public scrutiny. In fact, in clear demonstration of Judge Merchan’s hypocrisy, key witnesses for the prosecution have been allowed to openly disparage the president throughout the trial, while President Trump has been barred from commenting on the outrageous conduct of the prosecution.

That brings us to the so-called “star witness” for the prosecution: convicted felon and admitted liar Michael Cohen. The district attorney has pinned the foundation of the indictment against President Trump on Cohen’s testimony. But this is a man who has repeatedly tied himself in knots lying to Congress, federal investigators, and anyone who has tried to do business with him. The prosecution could not have found a less credible witness if they tried.

Since this sham trial began in April, President Trump has spent more than a dozen days tied up in a New York City courthouse. This is precious time he could be using to make campaign stops in crucial swing states. It demonstrates how Alvin Bragg’s case has always been more about hurting President Trump’s campaign than enforcing the law.

It is time for this brazen election interference to come an end. But if it does go on, voters across America will send the corrupt Democrats responsible a loud and clear message when they send Donald Trump back to the White House on November 5.