‘This Is Embarrassing’: Turley Says He Is In ‘Utter Disbelief’ Over Bragg Trial Opening Statements

[Screenshot/Fox News]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said he is in “utter disbelief” over the opening statements of the trial brought forth by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Former President Donald Trump arrived at the courthouse Monday to hear opening statements from the prosecution and defense teams over the 34-count indictment accusing him of falsifying business records to cover up an alleged hush money payment to former porn actress Stormy Daniels. It is alleged that Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen paid $130,000 to Daniels to keep an alleged extramarital affair between her and Trump undisclosed ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

“What is clear is in this case, Trump is right,” Turley said. “I mean, this is an embarrassment. I mean, the fact that we are actually talking about this case being presented in a New York courtroom leaves me in utter disbelief. I mean, the arguments today did in fact capture all the problems here. You know, you had this misdemeanor under state law that had run out. This is going back to the 2016 election. And they zapped it back into life by alleging that there was a campaign finance under the federal laws that doesn’t exist. The Department of Justice doesn’t view it this way.”

Turley compared the allegations against Trump to former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, whose campaign funded the Steele Dossier to investigate the now-discredited claims that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election. (RELATED: Trump Defense Attorney Says Bragg’s Charges Are Really Just 34 ‘Pieces Of Paper’)

“But also keep in mind, this is what Hillary Clinton’s people did. Remember, when they funded the Steele Dossier, which they denied to reporters. They put it as a legal expense, and then they fought the eventual fine that they received from the federal government saying ‘well it was a legal expense.’ But now you’ve got some of the same Democrats supporting this same bizarre theory,” Turley continued.

Fox News’ John Roberts pointed out that the prosecution is “being led in part” by Michael Colangelo, who served as the U.S. Associate Attorney General under President Joe Biden’s administration, then left his position to become a state prosecutor for Bragg’s office. Turley said Colangelo’s role supports Trump’s accusations that the case is “coordinated.”

“The fact is that most people in most courts would be, like, ‘woah, lets nots start with the former Biden Justice [Department] attorney to make this argument. But in New York, it doesn’t matter, because not much else matters except the name of the defendant on the caption, Donald Trump,” he added.

Colangelo accused Trump during his opening statement of formulating a “long-running conspiracy” to interfere in the 2016 election, according to The Associated Press.

“The defendant, Donald Trump, orchestrated a criminal scheme to corrupt the 2016 presidential election. Then he covered up that criminal conspiracy by lying in his New York business records over and over and over again,” Colangelo reportedly said.

Todd Blanche, a defense attorney representing Trump, affirmed the former’s president’s innocence, the outlet reported.

“President Trump is innocent. President Trump did not commit any crimes. The Manhattan district attorney’s office should never have brought this case,” Todd Blanche reportedly said.

Trump’s legal team is prepared to paint Daniels and Cohen as liars who are motivated by finances and grudges, court documents show, CNN reported. The prosecution reportedly aims to look into whether the former president violated federal and state election laws or state tax laws in the manner how he reimbursed Cohen.

Trump pleaded not guilty to all 34 counts during an April 4, 2023, court appearance.