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NYC Trump Case Puts Spotlight On District Attorney Alvin Bragg

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s pursuit of criminal charges against former President Trump could provide a case for the history books while also testing one of New York City’s top prosecutors, a newcomer to political office who built his career in state and federal law enforcement. Bragg, 49, took office in January of last year, becoming Manhattan's the first Black district attorney after winning the nomination in a crowded Democratic field and then triumphing in his first run for public office. He touted his lengthy record in law enforcement, which includes stints with the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York and the New York attorney general, as well as sharing his personal experiences living with crime and aggressive policing while growing up in Harlem during the 1980s crack epidemic, reports the Wall Street Journal.


Bragg advocated for progressive approaches to prosecutions, promoting alternatives to incarceration for some offenders. He pledged to prioritize violent crime, including gun-trafficking, but drew a more lenient stance on lower-level cases, saying he would instruct prosecutors to avoid seeking jail time. He has said not all cases involving gun possession merited harsh sentences. Bragg’s approach at times has put him at odds with other city officials worried about rising crime. Bragg is moving forward on a potential Trump case not favored by his predecessor, Cyrus Vance Jr., involving the former president’s role in paying hush money to a porn star. Bragg is taking a somewhat untested legal approach that could face challenges in court. Mr. Trump’s lawyers will almost certainly claim any charges aren’t valid under New York law, as well as arguing that Mr. Bragg’s office waited too long to bring them. Trump last week said an indictment could bring “potential death & destruction,” and posted a photo of himself holding a baseball bat next to an image of Bragg’s head. On Fox News Monday night, Trump said he didn’t intend to call for violence. “I didn’t say ‘do something bad,’ I said ‘I am afraid that people will do something’ because people are very angry about it.”

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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