(VitalNews.org) – Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis hasn’t let the barbs from his likely 2024 presidential opponent deter him from calling out what he sees as legal corruption aimed at Donald Trump. DeSantis said that while he doesn’t have inside access to what’s going on in the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, DA Alvin Bragg is a “Soros-funded prosecutor” who is “weaponizing the office” to take down Trump.
DA Bragg is widely expected to arraign or indict Trump this week on what he professes to believe are campaign finance violations. After conservative lawmakers and voters reacted with outrage to the idea that the New York prosecutor would physically arrest the former president and perp-walk him in handcuffs, Bragg is reportedly considering a virtual (computer-based) arraignment.
Bragg is focusing on a $130,000 payment from Trump to adult film performer Stormy Daniels in 2016. Daniels claimed that she and Trump had an affair in 2006 (Trump was already married to his wife, Melania, at the time), which Trump denies.
Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who spent three years in prison on campaign finance charges, facilitated the payments. Trump did pay the “hush money,” but he describes Daniels as a liar and an extortionist.
Hush money payments are not illegal. Bragg is expected to make a novel argument about why this one, in particular, is actually against the law. His theory is that since the payment bought Daniels’ silence during Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, this money somehow constituted an illegal campaign donation. Legal scholars and commentators have described this novel theory as tortured and “dubious.”
DeSantis refused to comment on the alleged extra-marital affair or the payment to Daniels. But he did say that Bragg is an example of a left-leaning prosecutor who is “ignoring crimes happening every single day in his jurisdiction,” while pursuing a politically motivated vendetta.
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