With Donald Trump now an official 2024 candidate for the White House, expect the resistance to whip into overdrive any day now to besmirch and otherwise demonize the former president.
In New York City, the anti-Trump forces are already in full gear with what many deem to be a moral obligation to once again try to destroy Trump, even if that means resurrecting the alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels — for the record, Trump has denied that he had any such relationship.
In what prosecutors have referred to as the “zombie theory,” which The New York Times described as an idea of building a case around the hush money paid to Daniels, the newspaper cited sources with knowledge of the matter to report that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg’s office “has moved to jump-start its criminal investigation into Donald J. Trump… seeking to breathe new life into an inquiry that once seemed to have reached a dead end.”
More from the Times:
The district attorney’s office first examined the payment to the actress, Stormy Daniels, years ago before changing direction to scrutinize Mr. Trump’s broader business practices. But Mr. Bragg and some of his deputies have recently indicated to associates, supporters and at least one lawyer involved in the matter that they are newly optimistic about building a case against Mr. Trump, the people said.
The renewed scrutiny of the hush money in recent months comes amid an intensifying swirl of legal and political drama around Mr. Trump. On Friday, Merrick B. Garland, the U.S. attorney general, appointed a special prosecutor who vowed to proceed quickly with two federal investigations into the former president. It is unclear whether Mr. Bragg or the special counsel will ultimately seek charges against Mr. Trump, who just announced a third presidential run.
While the action equates to using a public office to seek out a reason to charge a political enemy, the Times noted that for Bragg, “the hush-money developments suggest the first signs of progress since he took office at the beginning of the year, when he balked at indicting Mr. Trump in connection with his business practices.”
It also follows, as stated above, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointing a special counsel to oversee the criminal investigations into the retention of documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort and the so-called January 6, 2021, insurrection — with the Republican Party taking control of the House in January, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s politically motivated Jan. 6 select committee is destined for the trash heap.
Bragg is reportedly looking to pressure former Trump Organization Chief Financial Officer Allen Weisselberg, who is alleged to have had knowledge of the payment, to flip on his old boss and cooperate with the effort to build the hush-money case.
“While Mr. Weisselberg has already pleaded guilty to unrelated tax charges and testified last week against Mr. Trump’s company at its trial for the same tax crimes, he has not turned on Mr. Trump,” the Times reported. “To ramp up the pressure, the prosecutors are considering a new round of charges against Mr. Weisselberg in hopes of securing his cooperation against the former president, the people said. Those potential charges concern insurance fraud and are unrelated to the hush money.”
All of this being done out in the open, apparently.
As noted by the Daily Mail, Weisselberg “is already facing a stretch in the notorious Rikers Island prison over the tax charges – with the prospect of a longer stretch there a potentially-powerful bargaining tool in Bragg’s armor.”
Michael van der Veen, a lawyer for Mr. Trump’s company, finds it hard to believe that prosecutors are digging up old allegations to go after Trump, who may be the most persecuted American in U.S. history.
“I really don’t believe that they’re going back and conducting these investigations, and if there’s any truth to it, it would show poor judgment,” the attorney said, adding, “The millions of taxpayer dollars they’ve spent on countless investigations, it’s a big waste of time and money.”
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