Jonathan Turley: This is legally absurd


Jonathan Turley weighed in on the start of  President Donald Trump’s first criminal trial in Manhattan on Monday, telling Fox News viewers that the case, brought by Democratic District Attorney Alvin Bragg, is a “legally absurd” political hit job.

Turley, a conservative legal scholar and professor at George Washington University, has been an outspoken critic of bias in the judicial system against President Trump across his various criminal cases. Trump’s hush money trial, he said, may be the most ridiculous of all.

“Everything about this case is, in my view, legally absurd. This case is basically a state misdemeanor that had run out on the statute of limitations, and Bragg was forced after he declined for a long time to bring this charge to do so. His predecessor rejected it,” he explained.

“They took a dead misdemeanor and bootstrapped it into effectively trying a federal crime. But the federal crime here under election law was rejected by the Department of Justice. They didn’t feel that this should be charged.”

Walking into court on Monday, President Trump excoriated the justice system for its “assault on our country.”

“This is political persecution,” said the former president as he strode into Manhattan court accompanied by a phalanx of lawyers and family members, according to the AP.

“You have this crazy case that’s going to go forward and it’s going to turn on the testimony of people like Michael Cohen, and Michael Cohen just recently had a judge call him a serial perjurer. He’s going to appear as the center of this case,” Turley added.

President Trump is facing 34 felony counts related to a hush money payment made to Stormy Daniels, an adult film star with whom Trump was romantically linked prior to the 2016 election. Prosecutors allege that Trump, through Cohen, made a six-figure payment to Daniels to quiet rumors of an extramarital affair before Election Day. The crux of Bragg’s case rests on whether business records were falsified to hide the source of the payment.

Judge Merchan gave the plaintiffs a setback from the start, denying them the opportunity to play Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood tape or video from the E. Jean Carroll sexual assault case, both pieces of evidence they hoped to introduce to suggest Trump was attempting to shore up support among female voters by silencing the rumors about Daniels. Merchan, whose daughter has been targeted by Trump for her Democratic campaign consulting, also denied the former president the guarantee that he will be able to attend the high school graduation of his youngest son Barron if the case does not end by that time.

Elsewhere, Turley has been a reliable voice of agreement with President Trump on legal matters. He has highlighted a silver lining in the Supreme Court’s decision against Trump’s claims of immunity, pointing out that Department of Justice special counsel Jack Smith is under suffocating time constraints to wrap up his federal cases by Election Day. If Trump were to defeat President Joe Biden, he is all but certain to dismiss both cases, a power afforded to sitting presidents.


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