‘Trial by Ambush’!?

(5MinNewsBreak.com) – In an unusual twist for a criminal case, former President Donald Trump’s “hush money” case has been labeled a “trial by ambush” since the specific allegations against him were not made clear until recently, a full year after his indictment.

According to former federal prosecutors, this departure from normal procedure has left Trump’s defense in the dark and struggling to prepare against vague charges.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg charged Trump with 34 felony counts related to falsifying business records concerning a $130,000 payment intended to prevent Stormy Daniels from publicizing her alleged affair with Trump before the election.

To elevate these misdemeanors to felonies, Bragg suggested they were part of a larger crime, likely a federal campaign finance violation, but no details were known until a recent court revelation.

It all came to light in response to an objection from Trump’s lawyers that the prosecution’s claim rests on a violation of New York Election Law § 17-152.

This law criminalizes conspiracies to influence elections through unlawful means, defined in the courtroom as the supposedly falsified records tied to Daniels’ payment.

Matthew Colangelo, a senior counsel for the district attorney, argued that these records were part of a broader conspiracy to impact the 2016 presidential election involving Trump, his former attorney Michael Cohen and former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker.

This conspiracy is linked to the specific New York election statute but was not explicitly named in the indictment.

Former federal prosecutor Jonathan Fahey criticized Bragg’s handling of the case, comparing it to a “trial by ambush” and said he did not “recall ever having a trial where the defense didn’t know what the government was trying to prove.”

“If this was anyone other than Donald Trump, this would be laughed out of court,” Fahey concluded.

Another former federal prosecutor, Andrew Cherkasky, echoed Fahey, pointing out how “bizarre” it was to prosecute expired misdemeanors. “This amounts to another form of ‘trial by fire,’ which is not how the American criminal justice system is supposed to work,” he said.

John Malcolm from the Heritage Foundation said he was stunned that Bragg’s office had not clarified these charges earlier to allow Trump’s legal team to mount a robust defense.

Moreover, Malcolm underscored that it was rare to use a misdemeanor—conspiring to influence an election unlawfully—to justify multiple felony charges.

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