Former Attorney General Bill Barr called Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s indictment of former President Donald Trump an “abomination.” Barr said:
“Based on the news reports if they’re accurate, this is an abomination.“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.
“The case is held together by paper clips and rubber bands. It’s a lousy case, and it’s a shame. It’s a shameful episode in our history where this local prosecutor is trying to affect the political process by bringing this case.
“The statute actually requires that it be done with the intent to defraud. So if you have false business records, you know, and you’re committing insurance fraud or some other kind of fraud where some value is taken from somebody else and you falsely get value in your own name, then the false records would be a misdemeanor.
“But I don’t understand the basis for a fraud claim here.
“Then they take this misdemeanor, which also has a problem with the statute of limitations.
“And they tried to shoehorn it into a felony by claiming that the reason the documents were falsified was to cover up another crime.
“In this case, they’re assuming that the payments were 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.
“It wasn’t brought by the Justice Department during the Trump administration.
“But even after the Trump administration left there was no inhibition on the Department of Justice to bring this federal claim if they thought it was valid, and it was never brought.
“So aside from that, I think it’s quite clear under the law, that payment — I’m going to call it hush money — I don’t like that term, but payments of hush monies to keep, you know, affairs or other things like that secret are not inherently unlawful.
“The question under the statute is was it a campaign contribution? I think the law is quite clear. It is not.
“This is the epitome of the abuse of the prosecutorial power to preempt political decisions and sow discord in the political process.
“And I think it’s going you know, we’re going to rue the day we crossed this Rubicon.
“There’ll be more and more of this and you know, just doesn’t end well. It doesn’t end well.
“It makes us look like a banana republic. And it should.
“Now this is New York State and New York State has been acting like a banana republic.
“They had that civil lawsuit against the Trump and his children.
“That civil lawsuit brought by the state attorney general that was a political hit job as well.
“This ratchets that up because it’s a criminal case.
“And, you know, these cases together to me, mean the breakdown of the rule of law in New York State,” he said.