Donald Trump has been invited to appear before a Manhattan grand jury to investigate $130,000 in secret payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, a sign the former president could soon be charged with felonies.
Emerson said: “When you strike a king, you must kill him.” We would give that advice to District Attorney Alvin Bragg before he impeaches the former president. A weak or shoddy prosecution will only add to Trump’s grievance.
In case you haven’t noticed, this page has a low opinion of Trump. In 2016, we published our longest editorial urging his defeat. In 2020, we published a series of 99 editorials explaining why the serial liar and power abuser should not be re-elected. We supported his impeachment, twice, and last year, when fraud prosecutor Mark Pomerantz resigned in anger, he questioned Bragg’s failure to indict Trump for lying to banks about his real estate holdings.
Bragg did not proceed in that case because he considered the evidence and theory of the case too dubious. All of that puts the decision you are about to make under even greater scrutiny.
Credible reports say the indictment is based on a novel theory to escalate what would otherwise be a misdemeanor — Trump’s falsifying business records when he listed Daniels’ money as legal expenses — to a felony. they would do this by showing that Trump intended to commit or conceal evidence of a second crime, that is, a violation of state election law. The trick is that the hush money payments are not explicitly illegal, so at trial they would have to convince a jury that the cash amounted to an illegal donation to the Trump campaign.
We’re not sure why a cautious prosecutor like Bragg, who shied away from a Trump case because he considered it a bank shot, would dial his mark again and boldly attempt this double bank. But he is the one with the power, and the one who will feel the consequences, whether or not the ball lands in the pocket.