Bragg’s Political Prosecution Is a Threat to our Republic

The rule of law is vital to the proper functioning of our Republic.  If this crucial element is abused by powerful, corrupt actors seeking political gain, our Republic comes under serious threat.  Such behavior puts at risk not only the rights and well-being of the individuals who find themselves the target of political prosecution, but also sets a dangerous precedent that these same tactics may be used on all American citizens who fail to align with the politics of those in power.  The law is meant to pursue crime and not individuals.  It is for this reason that all Americans, regardless of their politics, should be concerned by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s recent indictment of former President Trump that has opened the proverbial Pandora’s box on future misuse by other politically minded prosecutors.

This indictment is entirely political.  DA Bragg campaigned on his ability to indict Trump, boasting on the campaign trail that he sued the former President’s Administration “more than a hundred times.”  The indictment itself is nothing short of a farce – a single potential misdemeanor expanded and elevated to 34 felony counts. I encourage every American to go and read the facts of the case. This is not about holding a former President to the same standard as every other American; it is about targeting a political opponent.  Never before has a politically elected prosecutor sought to arrest and convict a presidential candidate from his or her opposing party.

We should not be fooled when DA Bragg claims he is pursuing this case because he “refuses to normalize serious crime.”  That’s because on his watch, the normalization of serious crime is exactly what has happened.  Crime in New York City surged in the past year, thanks in large part to the revolving prison door the DA’s soft-on-crime policies have created.  During his first year in office, Bragg downgraded more than half of all felony charges to simple misdemeanors; and when he chose to actually prosecute crimes as felonies, his office failed to win a conviction in nearly half of all of the cases.  Police can only do so much to keep the city safe when the DA fails to prosecute and convict violent criminals for violent crimes.  Bragg isn’t just a bad DA, though – he chooses to be soft on dangerous criminals for the same reason he has chosen to pursue the indictment of a former Republican President: He is a tool of the progressive Left and is in no way even-handed in his pursuit of justice. 

We know this because Bragg’s election campaign received $1 million from a George Soros-funded political action committee – this is how the progressive Left operates.  In fact, prosecutors who were elected with the aid of Soros-backed groups now represent 20% of all Americans.  That means violent criminals in our major cities – Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and more – routinely have their felony charges reduced by soft-on-crime prosecutors who are more committed to pushing their radical ideology into our legal system than they are with serving the people whom they were elected to serve.  When political ideology is placed above justice, higher crime and political persecution are the natural result – and it’s the American people who ultimately suffer. 

A weaponized justice system, like the one on display in Manhattan’s courthouse this week, is dangerous for all Americans.  The DA’s actions – and those like it – will only serve to undermine and erode trust in our legal system.  By pursuing a blatant political prosecution of a former President with a shoddy legal case, Bragg is crossing a line that could lead to similar prosecutions on both sides of the political divide.  It undermines the confidence the American people have that their legal system will be fair and blind to bias.  This is bad for our Republic. 

As Secretary of State, I traveled to many countries where the rule of law was non-existent.  I saw firsthand what happens when the legal system is weaponized by the state.  Crime flourishes, the political opposition are treated as criminals, and the people suffer at the hands of the state and violent criminals.  We have sunk to those levels.  The American way of life depends on our ability to uphold the rule of law and not weaponize our justice system against our political opponents.  All Americans who believe in this vital institution must protest DA Bragg’s indictment, and we must never allow it to become precedent moving forward.