The Manhattan district attorney in charge of the investigation into hush payments made on Donald Trump’s behalf during the 2016 presidential campaign is once again in the spotlight. The first criminal charge against a former U.S. president may result from Alvin Bragg’s decision to call the grand jury early this year.
In November 2021, Bragg became the first African-American to be elected as Manhattan’s district attorney. In his professional career, he has served as a federal prosecutor and a civil rights attorney for clients such as Eric Garner’s mother. Dramatizations of the office of the Manhattan district attorney can be found on shows like “Law & Order” and “Blue Bloods.”
The Manhattan district attorney in charge of the investigation into hush payments made on Donald Trump’s behalf during the 2016 presidential campaign is once again in the spotlight. The first criminal charge against a former U.S. president may result from Alvin Bragg’s decision to call the grand jury early this year. The following is a link to a brief video clip that was provided by the official CNN news service and entitled Meet Manhattan’s DA who could soon indict Donald Trump:
WHO IS THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY FOR THE CITY OF NEW YORK?
In 2022, after being elected in November 2021, Alvin Bragg became the first Black district attorney in Manhattan.
What does BRAGG do as the district attorney?
Over 500 attorneys work in the office, which is responsible for prosecuting nearly all criminal cases in Manhattan. The district attorney is an important figure in politics because of the high profile of the cases he or she oversees.
The role of Manhattan district attorney has been depicted on shows like “Law & Order” and “Blue Bloods,” and is considered one of the most prestigious prosecutorial positions in the world. Adam Schiff, one of the initial leads on “Law & Order” and portrayed by Steven Hill, was based on Robert M. Morgenthau, who served in that capacity for 35 years.
The office has an annual budget of around $150 million and uses a separate $800 million forfeiture fund funded by Wall Street settlements to fund large programs like testing backlogged rape kits and grants to criminal justice and community organizations.
DO WE VOTE FOR DISTRICT ATTORNEYS?
Each of New York City’s five boroughs has an elected district attorney, and Bragg is one of those five. To become Manhattan’s district attorney, Bragg first prevailed in a contentious Democratic primary and then in the general election. He replaced outgoing District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
In the last eight decades, Bragg is only the fourth person to be elected Manhattan district attorney. The 31 years of service by Frank Hogan. At age 90, Robert Morgenthau left office after serving in it for 34 years. Vance left his position at the end of 2021 after serving for 12 years.
WHAT IS BRAGG’S LEGAL BACKGROUND?
Bragg has served as a federal prosecutor, an assistant attorney general for the state of New York, and a civil rights attorney who represented Eric Garner’s mother as she pushed New York City officials for more accountability against the officers and commanders involved in her son’s death by police chokehold in 2014.
Campaigning on a platform to end cash bail, Bragg promised to alter the office’s culture and gained the support of fellow progressive prosecutors.
Not long after he took office, he promised the public in a message that the district attorney’s office would stop prosecuting certain minor offenses.
Bragg attended Harvard Law School after growing up in Harlem.
What’s Bragg’s role in a possible Trump indictment?
On Trump’s behalf, hush money was paid during the 2016 presidential campaign, and Bragg inherited the grand jury probe that had been going on for years.
When Bragg took office, he slowed down the process of filing charges against Trump, citing doubts about the validity of the evidence. Two prosecutors who were heading the probe publicly protested this and resigned as a result.
After finding Trump’s family business of tax evasion, however, Bragg called for a fresh grand jury to be summoned at the beginning of this year. The decision was described as a “solid demarcation line” for moving forward with the investigation.
The grand jury system has a reputation for being particularly advantageous to the prosecution. This is a closed hearing with no judge present. Grand juries are made up of randomly selected community members and can interrogate witnesses as well as prosecuting attorneys. The grand jury can issue an indictment if there is adequate evidence, decline to do so or instruct the prosecution to seek reduced charges.