Count me among the group of people who’ve been unnerved by the apparent slowness of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s criminal investigations into Donald Trump.
When Mark Pomerantz and Carey Dunne resigned last year as co-lead prosecutors in one of the cases due to Bragg's alleged trepidation in prosecuting Trump, I became resigned to the possibility — even the likelihood — that Bragg wasn’t up to the task.
My colleague Jordan Rubin over at the Deadline: Legal Blog wrote this great post on Pomerantz's new book, which touches on accusations of inexplicable hesitancy in Bragg's office.
But on Thursday night’s episode of "The ReidOut," former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who says he has met with Bragg’s team more than a dozen times, gave what he believes is some reason for optimism. (Watch the segment above.)
Cohen defended Bragg against accusations that the DA is dragging his feet in prosecuting Trump over his business practices and his hush money payments to the adult film actress Stormy Daniels. Bragg, who took over the investigations in January 2022 when he became DA, is simply being thorough and acting with appropriate caution, Cohen said.
Cohen used a metaphor to make his point.
“Right now, the plane is taxiing, and we’re getting real close to the runway," he said. "At the end of the day, what’s the goal? The destination that you’re intending. That destination will be had."
Cohen, who was convicted in 2018 of facilitating the Daniels payments, repeatedly stressed his belief that the probe is moving along, going so far as to say he’s been “impressed” by the pace at which Bragg's team has been brought up to speed. Those words may bring a modicum of comfort to those of us who’ve been hoping to see Trump held accountable for any potential crimes he may have committed.
But Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor in New York, offered a counterpoint. Citing his new book, “Untouchable: How Powerful People Get Away With It,” Honig said officials in Bragg’s office reportedly made decisions not to pursue Trump probes because they feared political backlash, downplayed the seriousness of Trump’s alleged crimes, or simply had “prudential” concerns with indicting a former president.
There’s clearly a lot of mystery surrounding Bragg and his intentions in probing Team Trump.
To use Cohen’s metaphor, outside observers may believe Bragg has sent the plane that is the Trump investigations into a potential tailspin. But Bragg is actually steady at the wheel (er, yoke), according to Cohen.
Time — and a court docket — will ultimately tell whether that’s true.