It’s almost like clockwork: As the purported indictment of former President Donald Trump from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg continues to be delayed, a liberal legal analyst is now claiming Trump broke the law via posts on his Truth Social media platform dealing with Bragg.
As per Newsweek: “Across various posts, Trump called Bragg a ‘Soros-funded animal’” — a reference to leftist billionaire George Soros’ $1 million donation to the Color of Change PAC, which pledged the same amount toward electing the New York prosecutor — “and threatened that there would be ‘death & destruction’ should he be charged.
“He also shared a picture of himself holding a baseball bat next to another photo of Bragg, as if to suggest an attack, which he later deleted.”
Well, according to Glenn Kirschner — a former federal prosecutor and legal analyst who’ll seemingly appear anywhere, anytime, under any pretense — Trump’s posts, particularly the baseball bat one, violated New York state law, including Section 195.05, “obstructing governmental administration in the second degree.”
“Friends, when the grand jurors reconvene on Monday, they should receive additional evidence from prosecutors of Donald Trump’s ‘death and destruction’ threats in violation of Section 195.05,” Kirschner said on his YouTube series “Justice Matters” on Sunday.
Kirschner is indeed an inexhaustible resource, because on Monday’s “Justice Matters,” he found a further federal law he claimed the former president and 2024 candidate violated with those posts, 18 U.S. Code Section 875. That law involves the transmission of “interstate or foreign commerce, any communication containing any threat to kidnap any person or any threat to injure the person.”
“Now, posting something on the internet equals transmitting it in interstate commerce,” Kirshner said.
“And this picture depicting you taking a bat to your prosecutor equals a threat to another, and Donald Trump should be prosecuted both locally in New York and federally, because justice matters,” he said.
The charge is punishable by a fine or “not more than five years [of prison] or both.”
And boy, is the left embracing this one:
NOW: According to legal analyst Glenn Kirschner, Donald Trump’s social media posts aimed at Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg break state and federal laws.
Kirschner believes that Trump’s posts, especially one with a threatening image, were an effort to intimidate Bragg… pic.twitter.com/CJf0SyIQJK
— Brian J. Karem (@BrianKarem) March 29, 2023
“…This picture depicting you taking a bat to your prosecutor equals a threat to another and Donald Trump should be prosecuted both locally in New York and federally, because justice matters,” Kirschner said. https://t.co/DBnsAa0oSI
— Brian J. Karem (@BrianKarem) March 29, 2023
Disgraceful Trump showed photo of him with a baseball bat threatening Bragg, Glenn Kirschner found a law that incriminates Trump AGAIN, coward Trump removed the despicable photo. MAGA delegates at the prison where insurrectionist are held hugged and called the thugs patriots
— Malcolm Welch (@Malcy43) March 26, 2023
The Truth Social post of Trump with a baseball bat next to Alvin Bragg’s photo was actually illegal. According to Glen Kirschner, it’s a violation of a NY state law. Expressly, Section 195.05, “obstructing governmental administration in the second degree.” https://t.co/3lbUGGtsst
— Claire Bear Resists (@claireluvsbearz) March 29, 2023
Now, there are several problems with this.
The first is proving that Trump created the image of him with the baseball bat, ordered its commissioning or approved its being posted. According to Breitbart, that’s not the case. What happened was that he reposted an article from a media outlet that placed the image of him with the baseball bat alongside a photo of Bragg.
“You have to understand that when the story was put up, I put up a story, we didn’t see pictures,” Trump said during an interview with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
Are you sick of political persecution?
Yes: 100% (12 Votes)
No: 0% (0 Votes)
“We put up a story that was very exculpatory, very good story from the standpoint of what we’re talking about,” he said. “And they put up a picture of me. And you know where I was holding the baseball bat? It was at the White House, ‘Make America, Buy America,’ because I did a lot of ‘Buy America’ things, and this was a company that makes baseball bats.
“Then they put next to that picture a picture of Alvin Bragg. I didn’t do it. They did it. Then, I guess the people that do the paper or somebody put pictures together.”
The link was to a story by the National File, which produced the image.
In other words, have fun trying to pull that one off in court.
As for the rest, it sounds like a witch-hunt targeting Trump’s First Amendment rights.
On podcasts, Kirschner can make things sound dire for the former president. I’d say a statement from the former president’s communications team is probably closer to the facts here.
“Glenn is a notorious trafficker of wild conspiracy theories and dubious legal analysis,” spokesman Steven Cheung said, according to Newsweek. “I would expect nothing more from a clout-chasing MSNBC contributor who has been shunned by the legal community at large.”
But the sudden embrace of Kirschner’s theories illustrated a second point conservatives were quick to catch on to:
Pretending Trump doesn’t have 1st Ammendment rights because Bragg isn’t giving them what they want. They are so desperate. 🤡🤡🤡 https://t.co/3ihUjJtPL0
— Katie Yonke (@JKHomestead) March 29, 2023
Meet the new grift, same as the old grift…👇🏻 raging #TDS https://t.co/gDzLdMivy7
— Ultra Nuclear Mega MAGA punditocracy 💫 (@punditOcrat) March 29, 2023
They keep catching the bottom of the barrel for something, anything. This is just getting pathetic. 🙄 https://t.co/m4wCU4EB17
— Jason🇺🇸🇮🇱 (@realjasonmaples) March 29, 2023
Remember when Trump’s indictment was definitely, totally, absolutely going to happen March 21 — according to the media and Trump himself — but it didn’t?
And then the media declared it would happen the following day, but it didn’t? And the same thing happened to reports it would happen later that week?
Oh, but it’s coming, we’re told — except at this point, the Sword of Damocles dangling over Trump’s campaign seems a bit more like a Plastic Cafeteria Knife of Damocles, given the fact that the constant delays don’t seem to augur well for how much confidence the Manhattan DA’s office has in the case.
Nor should they have any confidence in it. In an excellent Tuesday piece at National Review, John Yoo and Robert J. Delahunty laid out why Bragg doesn’t have the jurisdiction or constitutional authority to charge Trump.
Just to catch up on the case against the former president: In 2016, Trump’s former lawyer (and convicted felon) Michael Cohen paid the adult artist formerly known as Stormy Daniels (actual name Stephanie Clifford, at least on her driver’s license and when she has her clothes on) $130,000 in a non-disclosure agreement in which she would not claim that she had an affair with Trump.
Because Trump accounted for the money as “legal services” to Cohen, Bragg’s office reportedly intends to prove that Trump illegally meddled with corporate bookkeeping. But as Yoo and Delahunty point out, that’s a mere misdemeanor — and the statute of limitations for the 2016 payout is two years.
However, Bragg wants to elevate this to a federal charge because this wasn’t just a corporate bookkeeping violation, it was a federal campaign finance violation. There’s just one problem there, however as Yoo and Delahunty again note: Bragg isn’t a federal prosecutor, which means he doesn’t have jurisdiction to do that.
“Building Trump’s prosecution on federal campaign law would breach a central principle of the Constitution’s separation of powers. National Review’s Andrew McCarthy has observed that Bragg ‘lacks jurisdiction to enforce federal criminal law,’” Yoo and Delahunty wrote. “We would go even further and note that the defect does not just pertain to jurisdiction, but to the Constitution’s fundamental structure as expressed in the separation of powers.
“Under Article II of the Constitution, the president has the duty to ‘take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.’ Only the president can decide whether and how federal law is to be enforced. The president and his designated subordinates not only must determine whether a violation of federal law has occurred, but also whether the public interest is best served by devoting resources to pursue specific defendants.”
Now, that’s never stopped a headline-chaser from bringing an unsupportable case to court, but it could have a great deal to do with why Trump’s indictment, which was supposed to be well in the past tense by now, hasn’t happened.
Facts have never stopped the faithful from believing there’s something Trump must be guilty of, though. Collusion with Russia. Incitement of violence. Campaign finance violations. Election fraud. And now, threatening a prosecutor.
It’s been almost seven years since Trump’s electoral victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton. Not a single charge against the man. But the dream lives on — and like clockwork, a new theory pops up just as yesterday’s theory begins to fade.