FEC Commissioner Confirms Alvin Bragg's Legal Actions Against Trump "Usurped" Federal Law

 June 13, 2024

A senior Federal Election Commission official has accused Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg of misusing federal law in his legal battle against former President Donald Trump.

The Washington Examiner reported that Trey Trainor, a commissioner appointed by Trump and former FEC chairman, testified before Congress, arguing that DA Alvin Bragg went beyond his authority.

Trainor stated that Bragg inappropriately applied a federal election campaign law in his prosecution of Donald Trump, who was recently convicted of falsifying business records.

The roots of the case lie in a $130,000 payment made by Trump's lawyer, Michael Cohen, to adult film star Stormy Daniels. Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg contended this action broke New York’s election law by attempting to influence the election through "unlawful means". This also purportedly involved violating federal election campaign laws concerning donation limits.

Legal Expertise Questions the Blurring of Jurisdictional Lines

During the trial, jurors had to decide whether Trump's actions corresponded with several unlawful methods to justify the overarching state law violation.

Although not definitively pinned to one, the possibilities included violations of federal election law, further falsification of records, or tax infractions. This ambiguity in determining the exact unlawful means has opened the door to several legal debates.

Trump's defense maintained that the payments were lawful and transparently recorded in the company’s books. However, despite the assurances from Trump's side, the jury returned a guilty verdict on the counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.

Previously, the Department of Justice had investigated the payment involved and concluded without charging Trump, which adds another layer of controversy to Bragg's decision to pursue the case on a state level.

Judge Michael Obus, who presided over the trial, pointed out the novel nature of this legal situation. He suggested that Trump's potential appeal could revolve around the argument that a New York court should not prosecute a case based on a violation of federal law, as these are typically under federal jurisdiction.

Trainor sharply criticized Bragg's actions, stating, "Bragg has effectively usurped the jurisdiction that this Congress has explicitly reserved for federal authorities."

He emphasized the potential dangers of such overreach, branding it a "troubling precedent for politicization of legal proceedings at the state level."

This viewpoint was echoed in further comments from Trainor, highlighting the problematic aspects of Bragg’s approach. “This revelation underscores the problematic nature of Bragg’s prosecution and his intrusion upon federal jurisdiction,” said Trainor.

Congressional Address and Sentencing Awaited

As the aftermath of the trial unfolds, Alvin Bragg is scheduled to address Congress on July 12, which follows Trump's sentencing set for July 11.

These events will likely draw significant public and political attention, providing critical contexts for the arguments made by Trainor.

The implications of this case are vast, potentially influencing how similar cases are handled in the future regarding the interface between state and federal election laws. As legal analysts debate the merits and pitfalls of such jurisdictional overlaps, the political and legal communities will be watching closely.

In conclusion, the case against Trump reveals the complex interplay between different levels of election laws and raises important questions about jurisdictional boundaries in legal prosecutions. With potential appeals pending and congressional insights expected, the legal narratives surrounding Trump's conviction are far from settled.

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