CNN senior legal analyst scorches ‘ill-conceived’ Trump case: ‘A guilty verdict doesn’t make it all pure’

In the many analyses that followed the guilty verdict handed down by a New York jury in the hush money trial of former President Donald Trump, there was one that was a surprise given the author’s connection to CNN.

The network’s senior legal analyst Elie Honig delivered a damning article about how prosecutors in the case “contorted the law” in order to get the conviction. Honig, a former assistant US Attorney, systematically took apart the case in what likely would upset leftists at his network where there was an atmosphere of celebration after the guilty verdict came down.

He blasted District Attorney Alvin Bragg, talked about the jury’s responsibility in deliberations and essentially gave a reality check to those ignoring the many breaches of the law and Constitution.

“Both of these things can be true at once: The jury did its job, and this case was an ill-conceived, unjustified mess. Sure, victory is the great deodorant, but a guilty verdict doesn’t make it all pure and right,” he wrote in the piece published in NY Mag/Intelligencer.

“Plenty of prosecutors have won plenty of convictions in cases that shouldn’t have been brought in the first place. ‘But they won’ is no defense to a strained, convoluted reach unless the goal is to ‘win,’ now, by any means necessary and worry about the credibility of the case and the fallout later,” he added.

Honig then laid out the “undeniable facts” including Judge Juan Merchan donating to a pro-Biden, anti-Trump political operation and the fact that Bragg ran on a campaign promise to “get Trump.”

“Most importantly, the DA’s charges against Trump push the outer boundaries of the law and due process. That’s not on the jury. That’s on the prosecutors who chose to bring the case and the judge who let it play out as it did,” Honig argued, adding that the charges against Trump were “obscure, and nearly entirely unprecedented.”

No other state prosecutor  “has ever charged federal election laws as a direct or predicate state crime, against anyone, for anything,” Honig wrote. “None. Ever.”

He contended that the effort was to “inflate the charges” and “electroshock them back to life” as the DA then “refused to specify” what the crime actually was.

“So much for the constitutional obligation to provide notice to the defendant of the accusations against him in advance of trial,” he wrote.

“It’s better characterized as the Frankenstein Case,” Honig noted, “cobbled together with ill-fitting parts into an ugly, awkward, but more-or-less functioning contraption that just might ultimately turn on its creator.”

“Trump will appeal, as is his right, and he’s certain to contest the inventive charges constructed by the DA. I won’t go so far as to say an appeals court is likely to overturn a conviction — New York law is broad and hazy enough to (potentially) allow such machinations — but he’s going to have a decent shot at a reversal,” Honig wrote.

Prosecutors, he concluded, “got their man, for now at least — but they also contorted the law in an unprecedented manner in their quest to snare their prey.”

Frieda Powers

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