Here’s What Legal Experts Are Saying About The Trump Indictment

Since former President Donald Trump was indicted on Thursday for charges related to a nearly seven-year-old alleged payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, various legal experts have weighed in on the legitimacy of the indictment and its chances in court.

The indictment against Trump is sealed by the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, and reportedly contains more than 30 criminal charges against the former president.

Famed attorney Alan Dershowitz, who represented Trump in his first impeachment trial, told Fox News that “any first-year student could win this case if the name wasn’t Donald Trump and if it wasn’t in Manhattan.” Dershowitz added that the case “has to get out of Manhattan.”

“I would try to move it to Staten Island or some upstate venue. But could you imagine a judge or a juror coming home to their wife and family and friends and saying, ‘I’m the man, I’m the woman who let Donald Trump off.’ Nobody would ever speak to them again. … There’s no possibility he can get a fair trial in Manhattan,” Dershowitz said.

Scott Greenfield, a defense attorney in New York who is no fan of Trump, told The Daily Wire that it was impossible to truly comment on the indictment until it is unsealed.

“But if the indictment is what has been discussed and what’s expected, there are serious doubts the case will survive a motion to dismiss or result in a conviction,” Greenfield added.

William A. Jacobson, a Cornell law professor and founder of the conservative legal blog Legal Insurrection, echoed these sentiments, saying that “unless there is some surprise, this appears to be a politically-motivated legally-questionable resurrection of stale misdemeanor charges bootstrapped into a felony using a highly unusual legal theory.”

Glenn Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee College of Law and conservative blogger, also noted that Bragg faces no consequences for bringing bad or unfounded charges.


“It doesn’t cost them anything if they lose,” he said, adding that it would be easy “in our polarized nation” to find “juries hostile to people from the other side.”

“The charge in this case seems absurd, but I see Democratic friends on social media literally popping champagne,” Reynolds added. “So it’s produced the result the party, and the media, wanted so far.”

On the other side of the aisle, many experts have been hesitant to comment on the sealed indictment.

Benjamin Wittes, editor-in-chief of Lawfare and a fellow at the Brookings Institution, along with Lawfare Senior Editor Quinta Jurecic, wrote about the background of the case, and how Bragg originally said there likely wouldn’t be any charges, but has since reversed his decision. The two encouraged commenters to “refrain alike from triumphant claims that the rule of law has been vindicated or from clucking about witch hunts.”

Others, such as George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley, explained that the Department of Justice previously declined to prosecute Trump on the same charges.

“Now, there’s a host of problems with that,” Turley told Fox News. “First of all, it’s a federal crime the Department of Justice chose not to prosecute. Bragg’s own predecessor declined to prosecute it, but he is attempting to bootstrap that federal crime into a state case. And if that is the basis for the indictment, I think it’s rather outrageous. I think it’s legally pathetic.”

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