Law Professor Scorches Alvin Bragg In NYT Op-Ed, Calls Trial ‘Historic Mistake,’ ‘Legal Embarrassment’
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks during a press conference to discuss his indictment of former President Donald Trump, outside the Manhattan Federal Court in New York, April 4, 2023.
(Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

Boston University law professor Jed Handelsman Shugerman delivered a blistering New York Times guest essay trashing Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against former President Donald Trump.

Shugerman titled the piece, “I thought the Bragg case against Trump was a legal embarrassment. Now I think it’s a historic mistake” — and then argued that in addition to the hush-money case against Trump being thin at best, the arguments being used to support it bordered on absurd.

The professor’s comments came on the heels of Monday’s opening statements — which he cited as the reason he now believes prosecutors in the case have made a “historic mistake.”

“Their vague allegation about ‘a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election’ has me more concerned than ever about their unprecedented use of state law and their persistent avoidance of specifying an election crime or a valid theory of fraud,” Shugerman wrote, noting that the prosecutors appeared to be attempting to use state laws to shoehorn in a case that belonged in federal jurisdiction.

He went on to explain that there was a way to do that — if prosecutors argued that Trump had been attempting to deceive state regulators. But they didn’t.

Instead, Bragg’s office argued that Trump had committed “election fraud” by attempting to “unlawfully influence” the 2016 presidential election.

The problems with that argument, Shugerman said, were simple: “It is legal for a candidate to pay for a nondisclosure agreement. Hush money is unseemly, but it is legal.”


“None of the relevant state or federal statutes refer to filing violations as fraud. Calling it ‘election fraud’ is a legal and strategic mistake, exaggerating the case and setting up the jury with high expectations that the prosecutors cannot meet,” Shugerman continued.

Shugerman concluded by saying that while he agreed both sides should get the chance to make their cases before the court, this particular case should be held up as an example of the system getting things wrong.

“Eight years after the alleged crime itself, it is reasonable to ask if this is more about Manhattan politics than New York law. This case should serve as a cautionary tale about broader prosecutorial abuses in America — and promote bipartisan reforms of our partisan prosecutorial system,” he wrote.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Law Professor Scorches Alvin Bragg In NYT Op-Ed, Calls Trial ‘Historic Mistake,’ ‘Legal Embarrassment’