The Trump Indictment: Making History in the Worst Possible Way

Below is my column in on the Trump indictment. There is a report of 34 counts against former President Donald Trump, which may be count stacking based on individual payments or documents. We will have to wait to see. In the meantime, the prosecution came about in the most overtly political way from Bragg campaigning on charging Trump to a public pressure campaign to indict from his former lead prosecutor.

Here is the column:

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has finally made history. He has indicted former President Donald Trump as part of an investigation, possibly for hush money payments. We are all waiting to see the text of the indictment to confirm the basis for this unprecedented act. But history in this case — and in this country — is not on Bragg’s side.

The only crime that has been discussed in this case is an unprecedented attempt to revive a misdemeanor for falsifying business documents that expired years ago. If that is still the basis of Thursday’s indictment, Bragg could not have raised a weaker basis to prosecute a former president. If reports are accurate, he may attempt to “bootstrap” the misdemeanor into a felony (and longer statute of limitations) by alleging an effort to evade federal election charges.

While Trump will be the first former president indicted, he will not be the last if that is the standard for prosecution.

It is still hard to believe that Bragg would primarily proceed on such a basis. There have been no other crimes discussed over months, but we will have to wait to read the indictment to confirm the grounds.

What we do know is the checkered history leading to this moment.

The Justice Department itself declined to prosecute the federal election claim against Trump. There was ample reason to decline.

The Justice Department went down this road before and it did not go well. They tried to prosecute former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on stronger grounds (which I also criticized) and failed. In that case, campaign officials and donors were directly involved in covering up an affair that produced a child.

At the time, Edwards’ wife was suffering from cancer. The prosecution still collapsed. The reason is that you need to show the sole purpose for paying hush money in such a scandal. For any married man, let alone a celebrity, there are various reasons to want to bury a sexual scandal.

For Trump, there was an upcoming election but he was also a married man allegedly involved in an affair with a porn star. He was also a television celebrity who is subject to the standard “morals clause” that’s triggered by criminal conduct or conduct that brings “public disrepute, scandal, or embarrassment.” These clauses are written broadly to protect the news organizations and their “brand.”

Various presidents from Warren Harding to Bill Clinton have been involved in efforts to hush up affairs. They also had different reasons for burying such scandals, including politics. However, scandals are messy matters with a complex set of motivations. Showing that Trump only acted with the future election in mind — rather than his current marriage or television contracts — is implausible. That was likely the same calculus made by the Justice Department.

That is also why the use of the “bootstrapping” theory as the primary charge would be an indictment of the prosecution and its own conduct. The office has already been tarnished by the conduct of the prosecutors who pushed this theory.

When Bragg initially balked at this theory and stopped the investigation, two prosecutors, Carey R. Dunne and Mark F. Pomerantz, resigned from the Manhattan DA’s office. Pomerantz then did something that some of us view as a highly unprofessional and improper act. He published a book on the case against Trump — a person who was still under investigation and not charged, let alone convicted, of any crime.

It worked. Bragg ran on his pledge to bag Trump and Pomerantz ramped up the political base to demand an indictment for a crime. It really did not matter what that crime might be.

While other crimes have not been discussed in leaks or coverage for months, it is always possible that Bragg charged Trump on something other than the state/federal hybrid issue in his indictment. There could be other business or tax record charges linked to banks or taxes. Ironically, the bank and tax fraud issues were also a focus of the Justice Department, which again did not charge on those theories. Moreover, Bragg could face the same statute of limitation concerns on some of the issues previously investigated by the Justice Department.

Finally, Bragg could stack multiple falsification claims to ramp up the indictment. There are reports of 34 counts of business record falsification. But multiplying a flawed theory 34 times does not make it 34 times stronger. Serial repetition is no substitute for viable criminal charges.

Bragg could have something more than the anemic bootstrapping theory — and it would be more defensible. Conversely, if Bragg moves primarily on that theory, the Democrats are inviting a race to the bottom in political prosecutions. That is something that we have been able to largely avoid in this country.

Bragg had a choice to make. He cannot be the defender of the rule of law if he is using the legal process for political purposes. That is what would be involved in a formal accusation based largely on the bootstrap theory. The underlying misdemeanor could pale in comparison to the means being used to prosecute it.

We have already watched the unseemly display of Bragg’s former lead prosecutor in publishing a book and publicly calling for charges during an ongoing investigation. Proceeding solely on the bootstrap theory would be a singularly ignoble moment for the Manhattan District Attorney.

What is clear is that whatever comes out of that gate next week, it will not just be Trump who will face the judgment of history.

370 thoughts on “The Trump Indictment: Making History in the Worst Possible Way”

  1. This pretty much sums it up. “It is still hard to believe that Bragg would primarily proceed on such a basis. There have been no other crimes discussed over months, but we will have to wait to read the indictment to confirm the grounds.”

    You don’t know sh-t. So we will have to wait. But not Jonathan, the penultimate trump apologist. Get this out now, who needs facts. Who needs facts when you can make up your mind here. Nothing to see, trump is innocent of everything, he is just like Jesus Christ, the second human being to have no flaws.

    1. LOL. The words in the indictment matter – lol.

      Amazing to see people hiding behind “but but but you don’t know what the indictment says”

      Yeah, we do. It says that the democrats are going to indict the past POTUS and their #1 political opponent. That’s all that needs be said. They are now 3rd world scat monkeys, congrats.

  2. Thank you, Professor Turley, for your spot on analysis…!! ———–as always.. the Voice of Reason.. Professionalism and Integrity at it’s Best…

  3. Misdemeanor, felony, 2 years, 5 years, statute of limitations, bootstrapping ? It’s all good if it gets Trump. It doesn’t matter anymore. The end justifies the means with little Soros-backed Bragg. He is bootlicking Soros’ shoes. “Bootlick Bragg” !!! Thank you, Jonathan, for an excellent article.

  4. I think it’s likely that Bragg is auditioning to become the new legal commentator at CNN. Win or lose, he will almost certainly be treated as a hero in Anti-Trump NYC.

    Winning the case would almost certainly cause democrats to view Bragg as the greatest lawyer since Clarence Darrow, regardless of needing a stacked Manhattan jury and crooked NYC judge to get the legal victory and regardless of how long it would hold up under appeal(s).

    With that super-celebrity status, New Yorkers would probably set to work constructing a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day balloon in Bragg’s bloated image, and parade him up the parade route to celebrate his victory over the American justice system.

  5. 1. Maybe Rep Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) hit the nail about her realistic approach (“everyone has the right to a trial to prove innocence”) in this criminal case. However, as the presumption of innocence is a key requirement of a fair trail and the former Speaker of the House is a vocal voice of Human Rights she might know that defendants are measured with different standards.
    2.Most likely, Joe Tacopina, former President Trumps attorney, will file a motion to dismiss the indictment (eg on prosecutorial misconduct and selective prosecution): Would this case have been brought against anyone else, seven years later?
    3. Then the question arises relatively quickly whether this is the main reason of all these criminal investigations: To prevent Donald J. Trump from running for the presidency for the 3rd time.

    1. Cases are brought against poor and powerless people all the time. The only reason that anyone is questioning this case is because Trump is rich and powerful. The rich and powerful should not be above the law.

      We don’t know the charges yet and should just wait to see what they are and what the evidence is for them.

      1. “The only reason that anyone is questioning this case is because Trump is rich and powerful. “

        Since you are saying the case is legitimate that means you know what Trump is charged with and can prove the charges correct. Trying to do so will make you look like the putz you are.

          1. So?

            Do you understand what was said? Probably not. However, Bragg isn’t charging Trump with a federal crime. He can’t. He is not a federal prosecutor. Get up to speed.

      2. “The only reason that anyone is questioning this case is because Trump is rich and powerful.” No, it is being questioned because the purpose of the prosecution is plainlty political, and because the case appears to be weak, and because Trump is being treated quite differently than Hillary Clinton who disgused payments to Fusion GPS as “legal fees”, and because Trump is being treated quite differently than Bill Clinton was treated in 1992 when he worked, though surrogates, to silence women who held embarrassing inforation about Clinton’s sexual behavior.

        1. You don’t even know what the charges are, much less the evidence for those unknown charges, so you cannot possibly assess accurately why it was brought or whether it’s weak.

          “Trump is being treated quite differently than Hillary Clinton who disgused payments to Fusion GPS as “legal fees” …”

          Nope. It would have been LEGAL for Trump to have paid Stormy Daniels with campaign funds identified as “legal fees.” What is totally different in Trump’s versus HRC’s acts — and what I’m guessing is the basis of the charges — was using Cohen’s personal money and the Cohen repayment scheme, where they lied about what they were paying Cohen for.

          I don’t recall the details of the payments with Bill Clinton; if you link to a discussion with the details (which are necessary is distinguishing between legal vs. illegal payments), I’ll read it.

          1. “It would have been LEGAL for Trump to have paid Stormy Daniels with campaign funds identified as “legal fees.”

            You are screwing up again.That Cohen could have used an alternate way to pay Stormy is meaningless. Why do you bring meaningless things to the table as evidence in your favor?

      1. He won’t be going to prison no matter how hard you try to get him there. One needs proof and if a judge or jury on the local level doesn’t see the necessity for proof the case will be taken to a higher level.

  6. Chris Bray has a nice round-up of these things.

    Congrats to Bragg/Vance/Spitzer/obammaholder for taking us to the level of Nicaragua, Chad, Tanzania, Cambodia, Russia, Ukraine, Senegal, Georgia, Congo, Pakistan, Benin, Uganda, Sudan, Turkey, and Venezuela.

    Nice work, we knew it was only a matter of time before the current democrats would find their level. The Detroitization of the country marches onward.

    1. You haven’t even read the indictment, but that doesn’t stop you from complaining about things you haven’t read.

      1. There going to arrest the opposition leader, what is to read? We know it is politically-motivated BS.

        It’s not like he was peddling influence for 10% or raping women.

        1. No, we don’t “know it is politically-motivated BS.” You believe that, but your belief is an opinion, not a fact.

          BTW, Trump has a civil trial for rape and defamation starting in April, also in NY. Carroll v Trump. Two other women besides Carroll will also be testifying about being assaulted by Trump.

          And of course he’s peddled influence. That generally isn’t illegal. Anyone who does it illegally should be charged.

      2. It is laughable that you think the means has anything whatsoever to do with the ends when it comes to democrat scumbaggery. The dems are simply showing their third-world asses to the world. The Kavanaugh trial was the end of the Dems in the first world. You wanted obamma and holder and jarrett and you got it – third world.

        1. I’ve lived in an actual third world country under a military dictatorship, and you’re deluded.

              1. ATS wishes to bring that third world country here. He would prefer the Stalinist type but will accept a Maoist.

                1. On the contrary, one of the signs of not being a dictatorship is my premise that no one should be above the law. If Trump committed crimes, he should be charged. If Biden committed crimes, he should be charged. I do not want one law for the poor and powerless and a different law for the rich and powerful.

                  1. Anonymous – if you really think “no one should be above the law”, then you must insiste that Bragg prosecute Hillary Clinton for: handling classified materials in a grossly negligent manner; obstructing investigations of Congress and the DOJ into her illegal server and the thousands of emails on that server; on failing to report her campaign’s payment to Fusion GPS for production of a “dirty dossier” on Donald Trump; for lying in her depostion in the investigation of the illegal server and “misssing” emails; and, most of all, of forming a gigantic conspriacy to defame Donald Trump as a pawn of Russia. Otherwise, there would be someone “above the law”.

                    1. I’ve never told any prosector what/who to prosecute and find it strange that you believe “no one should be above the law” requires me to start doing so. Also, you’re alleging federal crimes, not state crimes, so Bragg isn’t the right person to prosecute them.

        2. Neil, as you already recognize, ATS can’t stop himself. He thinks he is immune from criticism by being anonymous. Failure is his in that respect. When convenient, he also hides by saying you haven’t read the documents demonstrating a non-crime. In that way, he feels correct as with time, everyone forgets ATS was wrong almost every time.

          He is wrong here unless he is willing to tell us and defend what possible crime Bragg (NY AG) should be charging Trump with. He can’t.

          We can just as easily say Anonymous the Stupid will be charged with rape of a minor because we don’t know what is in the AG’s office.

          These silly games of ATS are garbage, and we should treat them as such.

          But you already know all this and can see the end product, the US becoming a third-world nation.

      3. Give it up already with the “you haven’t read” bit, Anonymius broken record, because you haven’t read it either, and if as you say they don’t know what they’re assailing, then you equally don’t know what you’re defending, do you now? Stop with the gaslighting, this comment section is attached to Turley’s column specifically about what IS known. And that is the mendacious attempt to bootstrap a misdemeanor that is past its statute of limitations to a federal campaign-finance felony. None of your obfuscations will flip a chemical switch in anybody’s mind to make them forget the difference between misdemeanor and felony, or between county and federal, or the meaning of statute of limitations. THAT is what Turley is talking about, THAT is the work of probably the last honest registered democrat left. And before you dictate to me that I haven’t read his voter registration paperwotk, yes I do know that he is, because I watched Turley’s testimony in Congress during the Trump impeachment circus, where he volunteered that info about himself. M’kay?

        1. I’m not defending the indictment. I haven’t read it, and I don’t know whether, after reading it, I’ll decide that I agree with it or instead decide that I disagree.

          You haven’t read it either, so you don’t actually know that “what IS known … is the mendacious attempt to bootstrap a misdemeanor that is past its statute of limitations to a federal campaign-finance felony.” You can believe that’s what the indictment involves. You can conjecture that that’s what it involves. But you do not KNOW that that’s what it involves, and you shouldn’t pretend that it “IS known.” Turley doesn’t claim it’s known. He says things like “He has indicted former President Donald Trump as part of an investigation, possibly for hush money payments. We are all waiting to see the text of the indictment to confirm the basis for this unprecedented act.” and “If that [‘a misdemeanor for falsifying business documents that expired years ago’] is still the basis of Thursday’s indictment …” He doesn’t claim it’s knowledge. You shouldn’t either.

          1. “I’m not defending the indictment.”

            You may not know what is in the indictment, but you are defending its existence without question though we know a lot about what is likely to be in it. You even stretch the ruling in Knobel to protect an SOL that is phony. How much longer do you intend to continue with this charade?

            You complained earlier about your value. This type of dishonesty is why you have little to no value. You have to be credible to have value.

  7. It is interesting that people are focusing on the indictment being historic but forget that it’s the behavior that should be the focus of the discussion. Frankly the fact that a person suspected of a crime has been indicted should be a big deal in a country that says no one is above the law. A trial for Trump is the way this issue should be resolved. Sadly Republicans and Trump believe that his status should grant him immunity from being held accountable for his actions. That isn’t the way it should be.

    1. “. . . no one is above the law.”

      The Left loves to trot out a mantra, when is satisfies a desire, e.g., “get Trump.” And then ignore that mantra, when it has a different desire, e.g., protect Antifa, BLM, the Bidens.

      1. Antifa, BLM, the Bidens, … should not be above the law EITHER. I want the law to apply to ALL. Do you?

        1. “I want . . .”

          I hate to pop your delusions, but you are not even a pipsqueak spokesman for the Left.

          1. There is no “spokesman for the Left.” Every member of the Left gets to speak for themselves.

            1. “There is no ‘spokesman for the Left.’”

              That’s just crazy talk.

              For sane talk, see the Left’s political leaders, the MSM, various academics, and talking heads.

              P.S. Keyboard warriors don’t count.

              1. It’s your opinion that “the Left’s political leaders, the MSM, various academics, and talking heads” are all spokespersons for the left. You and I clearly have different opinions about it.

                1. That the left talking points repeat one another doesn’t indicate to you that there isn’t generally one voice? Have you noticed what happens when someone deviates significantly from that voice?


    2. Actions speak louder than words – Democrats are NOT saying “no one is above the law.” Witness sanctuary cities, the 2020 riots, failure to prosecute crime, Hunter Biden, the list goes on and on and on. Very easy for the American left, right, in fact the entire world, to conclude this is a political prosecution, i.e., ‘persecution.” I don’t believe there’s any way to escape that allegation.

    3. Justice – as JT noted, the maxim that “no is above the law,” also applies Alvin Bragg and all the other little people trying to prevent Trump’s re-election. They are doing lasting damage to both our political and legal systems. They are the true “insurrectionists”.

      1. IF Trump broke the law, THEN he should be prosecuted just like anyone else. Being a candidate does not — and should not — exempt him.

        I don’t think Bragg and others are doing lasting damage to either system, and beyond that, I’ll withhold judgment until the indictment is unsealed and can be judged accurately. I also think it was a mistake for Ford to pardon Nixon. I think the country needs to know that the rich and powerful do not get to be above the law. If Biden has broken laws, he, too, should be charged once out of office, and the SoL should toll while anyone is President.

        1. Then you should be pushing for the prosecution of Hunter Biden, the Biden family, and more importantly the 10% guy, Joe Biden.

        2. Anonymous: thank you. Presidential historians say that it was a grave error not to prosecute Nixon and for Ford to pardon him. There are those who say that a deal was struck in which Ford would pardon Nixon if he would agree to resign voluntarily and return to California. One leading Republican (I think it was Barry Goldwater) told Nixon the votes were there to impeach him and to remove him from office. At the time, the thinking on both sides of the aisle was that getting impeached and forced to resign was punishment enough, and that seemed sufficient for a period of time while Nixon slunked off to California and licked his wounds for awhile. But then, his ego got the better of him and he started saying the same things Trump is saying–that he was innocent, that the accusations were politically-motivated, that he should have stood his ground and forced them remove him from the Oval Office. Fox News came about as a result of the Watergate Scandal. Powerful Republicans were upset that there wasn’t some media source of alternative facts to push back against the revelations uncovered by the dogged efforts of Woodward and Bernstein, to accuse them and the Washington Post of bad intentions, accuse witnesses of lying, of being politically-motivated, to defend Nixon, and that if there had been some source of alternative facts, Nixon’s presidency might have been saved. Of course, Nixon was as guilty as sin, and any counter-efforts to prove otherwise would have been so much BS–but the hope was that it might have worked. Nixon and his crimes were the impetus of the alt-right media which has exploded since Trump came on the scene. After Fox stopped promoting the Big Lie, including slandering Dominion Voting Systems despite knowing there was no truth to the claims that votes had been manipulated, other alt-right sources sprang up to provide daily affirmation for the disciples, to spread his lies, to attack Democrats and mainstream media. Now we have many more media with the sole agenda of defending Trump and Republicans, to attack Democrats, to accuse mainstream media of poltical bias and to spin the facts.

          That’s why if Nixon had been charged, tried and convicted, perhaps America wouldn’t be as divided as it is right now. It would also prove that we really mean it when we say that no one is above the law–not even the President This is indeed a watershed moment in US history. Trump has pushed us to the brink–not just with how he cheated his way into office with the help of a hostile foreign power, the damage he did to America and our economy, our public health and our relations with allies, but mostly with indoctrinating his fans to question the integrity and motivation of anyone he perceived as hostile to him, such as scientists, mainstream media, political opponents, and now, a duly-elected state prosecutor. Based on the Big Llie, he even induced his loyal fans to attack our Capitol to try to prevent the valid election winner from taking office–even to the point of lynching the VP. It is truly amazing that even a law professor would accuse a prosecutor of poltical motivation when he hasn’t even seen the indictment or charges and has no idea what evidence was presented to the Grand Jury. That’s what money can buy, and it’s sickening.

        3. Anonymous – the most important aspect of any legal system is whether it is applied impartially. Written words have no meaning when they are systematically applied against one group and systematially ignored as to another group. That is our current legal/ political situation, as everyone but you seems to recognize. Your constant refrain that “no one is above the law” rings hollow when you ignore the political motives of the authorities who are charged with enforcing the law.

          1. “No one should be above the law” is PART of “whether the law is applied impartially.”

            As for your opinions that “they are systematically applied against one group and systematially ignored as to another group,” I don’t agree (or, perhaps more accurately, I think it sometimes applies, but to poor versus rich, not right versus left).

    4. Holmes, Clinton paid hush money to his “lady friends” so Trump’s actions are not UNPRECEDENTED, Bragg’s actions are! Stop being a partisan hack.

      1. Paying hush money isn’t necessarily a crime. It depends on how it’s paid. If Trump had paid it out of campaign funds, it wouldn’t have been illegal.

        1. According to Michael Cohen and numerous others the money was paid in a legal manner. This is a non-crime that ATS wishes to see prosecuted. When it comes to the laptop and known crimes by Hunter Biden, the Biden family and Joe Biden, ATS makes an about face denying all the evidence. What does one call a person like ATS?

          A HYPOCRITE.

    5. Oh, absolutely! Now, could you remind me, or maybe I missed it, when was Hillary indicted for first holding then destroying confidential, top-secret, national security docs? When was Lois Lerner indicted for violating the civil rights of taxpayers? Or John Koskinen for the same? Or anyone at the FBI for inventing the Russia collusion hoax? Or for making “terrorists” out of suburban parents? Want me to go on?
      Didn’t think so.

  8. “…the Democrats are inviting a race to the bottom in political prosecutions. That is something that we have been able to largely avoid in this country.”
    Prosecutions or persecutions?
    And yes, we have been able to largely avoid it, until now. And the consequences will be? I’m no Trump fan, but this Pandora’s Box as the WSJ termed it does not bode well for the future of the country when mixed in with all the other bizarre things happening.

  9. What happens if the State of Florida refuses to assist in the Extradition of Trump?

    That cannot be held against Trump unless he was directly involved in negotiating that with the Florida Governor.

    If I were Trump I would politely nod my head ad say I was waiting for the State AG’s and Governors to sort out the Extradtion matter.

    God Bless DeSantis for standing up against the New York Partisan Politicians who are abusing the Criminal Justice system yet again in their effort to subvert the Rule of Law in this Country.

  10. The indictment hasn’t been unsealed, so you are writing about something you admit you haven’t read. Why not wait until you can read the actual charges and address it based on facts instead of guesses?

    1. “Why not wait . . .”

      You are so predictable and transparent that it is comical.

      When it satisfies a desire, Leftists chant: Let’s wait.

      When it satisfies a different desire, the Left jumps to conclusions.

      The ends justifies the means is not thinking. That is rationalization.

      1. I’m the one who made the claim, and if you’re accusing ME of jumping to conclusions “when it satisfies a different desire,” prove it. If you’re not accusing ME, then you’re attempting to tar me using others’ actions, in which case “The ends justifies the means is not thinking. That is rationalization” applies to YOU.

    2. “The indictment hasn’t been unsealed”

      This argument is the same dumb argument ATS uses repeatedly. It makes this argument just as correct, ATS raped a minor.

      An objection by ATS (based on his logic) is false because we do not have enough information. We shouldn’t be finding the man and then looking for the crime.

      ATS falls for that type of Stalinist garbage because he is the Stalinist type who accuses his enemies of everything and then tells everyone to prove their innocence.

  11. “Bragg ran on his pledge to bag Trump . . .”

    As it has been since 2016, the Left’s motivation is obvious: Criminalize Trump. Prevent Americans from voting for Trump. Interfere with elections. Stay in power, by any means necessary — including by destroying America’s system of justice, and Americans’ confidence in that system.

    True story:

    A delusional, schizophrenic man felt that: “People are out to kill him. They’re chasing him. … He believes it.” Driven by those hallucinations, he burned his own house down.

    1. Sam’s story is just Sam’s story.. this does not equate with anything true.. hate comments seldom do…

        1. Anonymous – even if the state law claim survives, the federal offense is clearly barred by the SOL:
          §30145. Period of limitations
          (a) No person shall be prosecuted, tried, or punished for any violation of subchapter I of this chapter, unless the indictment is found or the information is instituted within 5 years after the date of the violation.
          The federal claim would have accrued when the November 2016 report of campaign expenditures was supposed to have been filed. That is over 5 years ago. Therefore, even assuming Bragg has standing to enforce the federal claim (which is dubious), can you explain how he will be able to bring a claim barred by the SOL?

    1. I heard an analysis last night that the SOL tolls only if the person indicted is of unknown whereabouts, according to a 1999 case. If this is correct, it is unlikely the SOL will have tolled.

      The Constitution requires extradition upon request. The applicable SCOTUS precedent on this says that if a governor refuses to extradite upon request, a Federal court can issue an order compelling him to do so. Accordingly, I don’t think questions about the right of extradition have much to do with whether the SOL tolls.

      1. The focus of the tolling provision of CPL 30.10 is “the difficulty of apprehending a defendant who is outside the State” (People v. Seda, 93 N.Y.2d 307, 312, 690 N.Y.S.2d 517, 712 N.E.2d 682).

        Daniel, you are correct

        1. People v. Seda does not focus on the right provision of the statute. I think the word “OR” is pretty important here.

          There are two bases for tolling SOL:
          “(a) Any period following the commission of the offense during which (i) the defendant was continuously outside this state
          (ii) the whereabouts of the defendant were continuously unknown and continuously unascertainable by the exercise of reasonable diligence.
          However, in no event shall the period of limitation be extended by more than five years beyond the period otherwise applicable under subdivision two.”

          Do tell, under which of these above (i) or (ii) is the defendant in Seda relying upon? HINT: it is (a)(ii), not (a)(i).

          Now, in the same year, the NY Court of Appeals case, People v. Knobel, addressed SOL under the correct provision, (a)(i). In fact, Knobel uses the exact same quote from Seda you note above:

          “The People urge that the indictment was proper because the Statute of Limitations was tolled during all periods defendant was “continuously outside” the State. For an absence from the State to be “continuous” within the meaning of CPL 30.10(4)(a)(i), the People argue, it need not be a single uninterrupted period of time. We agree. The focus of the tolling provision of CPL 30.10 is “the difficulty of apprehending a defendant who is outside the State” (People v. Seda, 93 N.Y.2d 307, 312). Thus, all periods of a day or more that a nonresident defendant is out-of-State should be totaled and toll the Statute of Limitations.”

          Knobel was living in his home in VA. He was not in hiding. There was no requirement that he be unknown or unascertainable because that is (a)(ii), not (a)(i). If he was not unavailable, the your quote, as applied by the NY Court of Appeals, does NOT mean — “oh well, we know where Mar-A-Lago is, so we don’t apply the statute.” It simply means, “it is difficult to apprehend a nonresident defendant that is reachable in the State of NY.”

          Have you found any NY Court of Appeals case or SCOTUS case, or a subsequent change to the statute, which would render Knobel no longer current?

          If not, this is NOT up for debate. It is the law. You may disagree with it, and that is fine, but please stop trying to act like Knobel never happened.

          1. “the difficulty of apprehending a defendant who is outside the State”

            The authorities of NY had advance notice of when and where Trump would be in NY. There was no difficulty.

            Now you can convince us that we don’t know the sun will rise tomorrow.

    2. Anonymous, you are really off on the SOL issue. It is not that the defendant is only out of state, he must have been in some unknown/unreachable place. Also, DeSantis saying that after the SOL has run he won’t extradite has nothing to do with the SOL already having run. Gee, try harder will ya.

      1. Anonymous, you are really off on the SOL issue
        He knows. Its all part of the lefts constant muddying up the debate, willfully injecting meaningless, or willfully misleading things into the discussion to change the topic. Just like the media, ignoring all the problems with this case and intentionally spreading misinformation.

        1. The legal justification is clear. There are game players that challenge everything including the fact that the sun will rise tomorrow. Those people are generally known as liars and tricksters. It has gotten to the point that a Supreme Court nominee can’t define what a woman is.

          1. see comment below. If you actually look at the statute and the case law, Iowan’s comment is not defensible.

            1. The sun will rise tomorrow. I see you are unable to explain your logic. That is why you link or copy and paste.

              Trump was never continuously out of the state and his whereabouts were always known. There was no difficulty locating him or getting him back into the state. In fact he returned to NY many times.

              You are making things up. I know we don’t have adequate proof but the next full moon will be April 6. That is the best time to catch Wahoo.

              1. Do you have a case that overrules Knobel on the meaning of “continuous”?

                If not, who is “making things up?” From KNOBEL:

                “The People urge that the indictment was proper because the Statute of Limitations was tolled during all periods defendant was “continuously outside” the State. For an absence from the State to be “continuous” within the meaning of CPL 30.10(4)(a)(i), the People argue, it need not be a single uninterrupted period of time. We agree. The focus of the tolling provision of CPL 30.10 is “the difficulty of apprehending a defendant who is outside the State” (People v. Seda, 93 N.Y.2d 307, 312). Thus, all periods of a day or more that a nonresident defendant is out-of-State should be totaled and toll the Statute of Limitations.”

                The defendant in this case came back to NY “many times,” yet the NY Court of Appeals tolled the SOL for him. If coming back “many times” is relevant for Trump, then why was it not for Knobel? There was no difficulty in locating Knobel. He family knew where his house was in VA. What differentiates Knobel from Trump?

                I haven’t made anything up. But, by making an argument that ignores the current law in the State of New York, one of us certainly seems to making things up.

                1. I am using only the data you provide. “the difficulty of apprehending a defendant who is outside the State” is the rationale.

                  I don’t know enough about Knobel, but it is up to you to prove why this explanation isn’t relevant to Trump. The one who came to NY many times might have done so in a way no one would know. That doesn’t apply to Trump. Entering and leaving NY without leaving a trace is something some residing in adjacent states do for tax reasons. That might be what Knobel did. Trump’s visits were announced before, during, and after.

                  You failed to prove your case. By not first researching and answering the easily found question one is entitled to say you made these things up.

    3. Anonymous – “The rationale [for tollling] is the difficulty of reaching the defendant out of state.” Surely you must recognize that this argument makes no sense in the case of Trump.

        1. Whatever the holding in Knobel, the underlying rationale – that someone outside the state is hard to serve with process – is an anachronistic assumption. These days it is not hard to serve process on most people outside the state unless they are living under an alias, like Anonymous. Law must constantly be adjusted to conform to changing reality. The Knoble court may have failed to do so. But that does not prevent a current New York Court of Appeals panel to re-examine and discard that outdated rationale.

          1. “law must constantly be adjusted.” You sound like a member of the American Constitution Society!

            No. Legal precedent from 1999 (not 1899) involving exactly the same conditions (an out of state resident whose whereabouts were well-known and who frequently but not regularly visited NY), which was decided by the highest court in the state, should not be adjusted because it was 23 years ago. The whole point of the case was that it didn’t matter that he was easy to find. He was still harder to reach than someone living in the state.

            Apparently, unlike you, I care about legal precedent. The people of NY have had 23 years to change that statute of they thought the result was wrong. They had 23 years to “adjust to changing reality” whatever that means here (side note – back in 1999, the NYPD could still locate an address in VA, so not sure what has changed?)

            The courts are NOT the place to reevaluate clear statutory language that has been unambiguously interpreted by the highest court in the state.

        2. Research Knobel and show us why he was as easily locatable as Trump if that is your argument.

  12. I’m sorry but when you willfully close your eyes to a stolen election, this is what you get. These are not the good guys and this is far from the beginning of the illegal acts against Trump. What about Peter Strzok’s “insurance policy?” That was never adequately addressed. The Russia Russia Russia hoax, after it came out that it was a hoax, was treated as an amusing foible. Jake Lang has been sitting in prison for 800 days without trial for a so-called “insurrection” on January 6, 2021. The real insurrection was and is the attempt by the Deep State to subvert democracy and take down a sitting president. Until you are ready to talk about these facts, Professor Turley, your words are empty. There is a Portuguese saying, “A bad road can never lead to a good destination.” The left has been on this road for a long, long time.

    1. One party/group/outlook/value system controls our Capitol city, our Intel structures, our justice dept, our treasury dept, our media, big tech, etc etc…I feel, as a former democrat centrist until 2015, now an independent with conservative leanings, totally disenfranchised. There is a culture war going on and I am exhausted by it. I’d like to live in a country where I’m not trying to be exterminated by the other half. If only we could have TWO countries, so we could get away from the tyranny of the left. I’m not enjoying living under this tyranny. Whatever they want, they get. And the rest of us live in fear. It’s no good. If I weren’t elderly, and if I had lived in the east, I might’ve gone to the Capitol on J6. Just to protest, as I did on west coast, many times during Vietnam. I could be languishing in jail right now, like so many are. Just an awful time we are living through. ….thank you professor Turley for all your work to try to save our rule of law, especially First Amendment. Without these things, we will become a banana republic. We are well on our way.

  13. This is good news. The Dems are making the case for secession. It’s best that our evil enemies be so upfront about what they’re doing.

  14. “by alleging an effort to evade federal election charges.”

    How does a *local* DA prosecute a *federal* “crime?”

    Or is jurisdiction now out the window, too?

    1. You don’t know what the charges are, nor do I, nor does JT. You quoted a sentence that starts with IF but omit it yourself.

      1. “You don’t know what the charges are . . .”

        I know, I know. When an allegation harms the Left, we’re supposed to wait until: The charges are public. Then wait, again, until after the jury verdict. Then, again, until after he’s in jail. Then, again, . . .

        But when an allegation helps the Left, we supposed to jump in head-first, blindfolded.

        You are the most unprincipled, and therefore least credible, commenter on this blog.

        1. Notice that you attack on the basis of what you accuse “the left” of doing / what you imagine “the left” is going to do, but cannot provide any evidence about ME, the single person who stated the following facts: “You don’t know what the charges are, nor do I, nor does JT. You quoted a sentence that starts with IF but omit it yourself,” nor do you dispute the facts I stated. You must have been a terrible logic teacher.

          1. “. . . any evidence about ME . . .”

            Goodness, you have an inflated sense of your own value. I couldn’t care less about you. I care about the culture and its cultural leaders (which, hate to tell you, excludes you).

              1. Sam said, “you have an inflated sense of your own value.”

                That is true and most people will agree. You would have more value if you didn’t stretch the truth or researched Knobel before telling others they were wrong.

        2. Sam, we have to laugh at the trickster known as ATS. You are right. ATS is wrong and keeps making a fool out of himself.

          Your statement says it all:

          “we’re supposed to wait until: The charges are public. Then wait, again, until after the jury verdict. Then, again, until after he’s in jail. Then, again, . . “

          That you had to reply with that statement proves ATS is a liar. Thank you.

  15. In 1884, when Grover Cleveland was running for POTUS, his critics claimed that he had fathered an illegitimate child out of wedlock. Cartoons appeared with a woman holding a baby screaming, “Ma, Ma, where’s my pa?” After Cleveland won the election, his friends ran the same cartoon but added, “He’s in the White House, Ha, Ha, Ha!”
    History has a way of repeating itself!

  16. Bragg’s indictment of Trump illustrates a basic tenant of Marxism which holds that the ends justify the means, notwithstanding the lack of morals or scruples evoked by the, “means.”

  17. Professor Turley has heretofore noted the adage that a prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. Given that this is unfolding in New York City, Bragg could probably have had Trump indicted for the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, kidnapping the Lindberg baby, and conspiring with the Rosenbergs.

  18. 1. That the alleged payments would be a misdemeanor under New York state law and under that same law misdemeanors must be prosecuted within two years whereas the alleged offense occurred in 2016,7 years ago.

    2. That the alleged offense is a felony under Federal law but the NYC DA cannot prosecute for Federal crimes

    3. That the Federal DOJ has already looked at this question and declined to prosecute.

  19. Mark My Words

    George Soros, The Zionisten, The Military Industrial Complex, The Think-Tanks, The Democrats, The Clinton’s, the Media, The Wall Street Financial Banking Complex, AND, And, and … Have All wanted this World War III to fill Thier pockets and change the game of Globalization to Their favor.

    The Trump Election surprise of 2016, clearly threw them off Their trajectory for engaging the beginning of WW.III,
    The Biden Administration (Ha ha) has gotten the effort back on the rails and is pushing ahead with the War agenda.

    A successful Trump re-election would clearly be a road-block to this. Hence all efforts are to stop Trump from being a Candidate, yet alone letting Trump hold an Executive Office again. One only look at all the Agencies employed to stop Him, to realize and see the enormity of the push to stop Him.
    [and not short of assassination (Hey, They whacked the Kennedy Brothers)]
    This War is paramount to Their’ Mission, and they want it so badly.

    Any Candidate for 2024 that states They could end the War in Ukraine or opposes it, will be ‘silenced and blacked-out’ by the Media.

    SO like-it-or-not, We the People have World War III on our hands. And the ‘Individuals of the Powers-to-Be’ will have it no other way.
    In the aftermath of this, They will walk away without a care for the suffering and destruction of what They have created and executed.

    There are MEN, and there are NON-MEN, and there are a lots of clever ways of maintaining that now-a-days.
    List – Employment History, Credit Histories, Social Network Traffic Analysis , Profiling, etc. etc. …

    They keep you where you are at in Life. A lesser Human-Being caught up in the Tranquility-of-Opportunity of a brighter Future, which never arrives (Dreaming). You were bred to serve … MEN live, GENTILES serve.

    WARs keep this Machine aligned, Generation after Generation.

    These Fools think that They can take on and Win a War against BRIC [Brazil, Russia, India, China], They think they can take on the rest of the World.
    And if They can’t Win, if They can’t have it, then They’re going to kill us All. Nukes, Disease (Bio Weapons), Starvation, and just plain Killing Us One-by-One.

    They have Their hands on “THE BUTTON” – This Game-of-Globalization, this Armageddon-at-Hand,
    It is the Blackmailing of the Human Race.

    U.S. Megalomania, What the Founding Fathers sought to build, doesn’t exist anymore. WE have lost Our Constitution [K].

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