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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

House Judiciary Committee Calls on New York Appellate Courts to Overturn N.Y vs. Trump Verdict

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By (American Greatness)

 

House Judiciary Committee Republicans are calling on New York appellate courts to overturn the New York vs. Trump verdict, alleging that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Judge Juan Merchan deprived former President Donald Trump of his Constitutional and legal rights.

The Committee opened its investigation into Bragg’s unprecedented indictment of Trump in March 2023, and quickly uncovered what GOP members called a “two-tiered justice system that extends from the highest offices in the Department of Justice to the offices of politically ambitious state and local prosecutors.”

A new staff report released by House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday alleges multiple “severe legal and procedural defects” in the prosecution of Trump, as well as blatant political motivations.

The Republican-controlled Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government held a hearing on Tuesday with legal expert witnesses to discuss the case.

GOP members argued that New York County District Attorney’s Office (DANY) weaponized the criminal justice system to punish Trump “by making him the target and then searching for a legal theory upon which to prosecute him.”

Professor Bradley Smith, Professor of Law, Capital University Law School, gave a lengthy opening statement alleging that “the campaign finance aspects of the trial in New York were abused by the prosecutors and horribly mismanaged by the trial judge.”

“If this verdict stands, there is nothing to prevent any (or every) state from passing a law such as New York Election Law 17-152,” Smith testified. “Such a law could then be used to prosecute federal candidates and officeholders on the theory that they had influenced an election through unlawful means.”

The fact that the jury never had to reach unanimity on any of the criminal counts was identified in the report as one of the “severe” flaws in the prosecution, as well as Bragg’s “usurpation of the federal government’s exclusive authority to prosecute alleged violations of federal campaign finance laws.”

The report also accuses Judge Merchan of delivering “egregious legal rulings before and during the trial that all cut against President Trump’s rights,” including:

  • -Judge Merchan’s failure to recuse himself for manifest political bias against President Trump;
  • -The unconstitutional gag order he imposed on President Trump during the trial;
  • -Judge Merchan’s admission of plainly inadmissible, irrelevant, and unfairly prejudicial testimony against President Trump; and
  • -Judge Merchan’s refusal to permit former Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley Smith to testify as to the meaning and complexities of the Federal Election Campaign Act.
Because President Trump had no notice of the specific charges against him, in particular the underlying crime and its essential elements, he did not have a meaningful opportunity to defend himself from those charges. Then, Judge Merchan instructed the jurors that they “did not have to agree on a singular unlawful act” to convict.
Rather, he gave the jurors a menu of potential avenues by which they could convict President Trump, instructing them that “they would have to find only that Mr. Trump committed bookkeeping infractions to conceal a campaign finance violation, tax law infraction or falsification of business records,” but they did not have to agree on the underlying crime. Finally, Judge Merchan permitted gratuitous and prejudicial testimony that should have been inadmissible.
As a general matter, evidence should be excluded if its prejudice outweighs its probative value. The testimony that Judge Merchan permitted at trial, particularly certain parts of Cohen’s and Clifford’s testimony, was unduly prejudicial and never should have been allowed.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Tuesday also released newly obtained documents  exposing the political motivations of Matthew Colangelo, a former senior Biden Justice Department official who became a lead attorney in the prosecution of Trump in Manhattan.

In his application to Colangelo work for New York Attorney General Letitia James, he listed left-wing operatives DNC Chair Tom Perez and now-Biden White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients as references.

“It’s always been a political hit job,” wrote Jordan on X.

 

“Letitia James’s office was thrilled when Matthew Colangelo was hired by Alvin Bragg,” Jordan noted in a subsequent post on X.

“Matthew-glad to see you are back in NYC. Sounds like you and Mr. Trump’s paths will continue to intersect,” wrote James Sheehan, and official with the state Attorney General’s Office.

The Judiciary Committee called on the New York appellate courts, sometimes dubbed the “13th juror,” to intervene, as Trump’s indictment was “conceived in legal and constitutional error and the trial exacerbated and compounded those errors.”

The report asserts that “a honest review of the facts and the law will likely lead appellate courts to vacate the conviction and dismiss the indictment with prejudice.”

“This will go a long way in restoring the American people’s trust and confidence in our justice system,” the report concludes, “although more work is ahead.”

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