Former Attorney General Bill Barr says he believes the indictment of former President Trump over his alleged involvement in the 2016 hush money scandal to be ‘an abomination’ and ‘the epitome of the abuse of prosecutorial power.’
Trump made history as the first ex-president in U.S. history to be indicted.
Barr argued how the legal theory behind the indictment was ‘pathetically weak’ and that the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is ‘going after the man, not a crime.’
‘Obviously, we don’t have the indictment, so there’s a little bit of speculation involved, but based on the news reports, if they’re accurate, this is an abomination,’ Barr said on Fox News.
‘It’s the epitome of the abuse of prosecutorial power to bring a case that would not be brought against anyone else. They are going after the man, not a crime. And the legal theory, frankly, is pathetically weak,’ he suggested.
Former Attorney General Bill Barr called Trump’s indictment ‘an abomination’ and ‘the epitome of the abuse of prosecutorial power’
‘The legal theory is pathetically weak. The case is held together by chicken wire and paper clips and rubber bands. It’s a lousy case. And it’s a shameful episode in our history where this local prosecutor is trying to affect the political process by bringing this case,’ Barr railed.
He delved into the legal arguments that will likely be made, noting how the case likely revolved around how Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen recorded the reimbursements paid to him from Trump as ‘legal payment’.
Barr explained how the statute requires that any such misclassification of funds be done with the intent to defraud, which may not be the case in this situation.
‘The claim is that [recording the Cohen reimbursements as legal payments] is false and therefore violated a misdemeanor statute in the first instance against false documents,’ Barr said.
‘I actually don’t think that’s a valid claim in this case, because the statute actually requires that it be done with the intent to defraud. But I don’t understand the basis for a fraud claim.’
Former President Trump’s legal team went on the offensive on Friday following his historic indictment, vowing the former president would never seek a plea deal and was ready ‘to fight’
Barr also disagreed with the claim that the payments were a campaign finance violation because they were effectively a contribution to the Trump campaign.
‘They’re assuming that the payments were a campaign finance violation because they were effectively a contribution to the Trump campaign. I can tell you that’s not the law. I don’t think that’s how the Justice Department would view it,’ Barr added.
‘Payments of hush money to keep affairs and things like that secret are not inherently unlawful,’ Barr explained.
‘I think it’s a weak case all together. Unfortunately, I think it will accomplish what its political purpose which is to inject chaos into the Republican process. I think probably the governing intent here is to help Trump and have all the news focused on this kind of stuff for the next couple of years and turn the Republican primary into a circus.’
The office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has been investigating the alleged hush money scandal for years, which includes payments of $130,000 to Daniels and $150,000 to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
The office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has been investigating the alleged hush money scandal for years
The case against Donald Trump revolves around hush-money payments made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who says they had a tryst
President Joe Biden sidestepped questions from reporters about the indictment of the Republican he beat in 2020 and could potentially face again in November of next year.
‘I have no comment on Trump,’ Biden said.
Trump’s legal team went on the offensive on Friday following his historic indictment, vowing the former president would never seek a plea deal and was ready ‘to fight’ all charges.
The 76-year-old Trump, who is hoping to recapture the White House in 2024, chimed in with attacks on the prosecutors who brought the charges against him and even the judge expected to hear the case.
‘ELECTION INTERFERENCE, KANGAROO COURT!’ Trump posted on his social media platform Truth Social, adding that Juan Manuel Marchal, the judge who may preside over an eventual trial, ‘hates me.’
Trump is to be booked, fingerprinted and will have a mugshot taken at a Manhattan courthouse on Tuesday afternoon before appearing before a judge as the first ever American president to face criminal charges.
‘The president will not be put in handcuffs,’ said Joe Tacopina, one of Trump’s attorneys, adding that he does not believe prosecutors will ‘allow this to become a circus.’
Tacopina said the hush-money case being brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg against Trump faces ‘substantial legal challenges’ and the former president would plead not guilty.
There is ‘zero’ chance Trump would accept a plea deal, he told NBC’s Today show. ‘It’s not going to happen. There’s no crime.’
Trump, who is currently at his palatial Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida, was initially ‘shocked’ at the indictment, his attorney said, but ‘he’s now in the posture that he’s ready to fight this.’
In predicting his indictment, Trump called for protests and warned it could lead to ‘potential death and destruction’ for the country.
And in a statement, the ex-president said he had already raised $4 million for his 2024 presidential campaign in the 24 hours following news of the indictment.