Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg is leaking to the New York Times that he’s looking at criminally charging Donald Trump in the Stormy Daniels scandal. As I said eight months ago, Bragg was going to have to indict Trump on something in order to get reelected in 2024 – and now it appears Bragg knows this.
We may never know why Bragg declined to indict Trump eight months ago. Maybe he really did think the case was weak. Maybe he’s a coward who wanted an excuse to wait until the Feds were also charging Trump with something. But either way, here we are now.
The prevailing conspiracy theory on Twitter – that Bragg was being bribed or blackmailed into letting Trump off the hook – was always laugh out loud silly, for too many reasons to rehash. But then the prevailing conspiracy theory on Twitter is always laugh out loud silly.
The reality is that Bragg was always going to have to indict and convict Trump, or voters in Manhattan would have automatically voted him out in 2024. I said at the time that Bragg would end up finding something to charge Trump on, perhaps around the time the DOJ was also moving on Trump. None of this is particularly surprising.
What’s interesting is that Bragg is leaking this now. Some (far from all) of the heat has been off him lately, because not all of the public understands that the DOJ’s prosecution of Trump is a different entity.
But now Bragg is choosing to put an immediate target on himself by leaking that he’s looking to into indict Trump after all. Because if he fails to do it after leaking that he’s going to do it, the blowback on Bragg will be twice as bad as it already would have been.
Bragg should have indicted Trump on something eight months ago. It’s wrong that he didn’t. But no one should be surprised that he’s looking to indict Trump now. You can yell “I’ll believe it when I see it.” But he always going to have to indict Trump to get reelected.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report