‘Reality Is About to Sink in’ for Alvin Bragg, Legal Analyst Warns

Attorney and legal analyst Jonathan Turley warned Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on Monday that “reality is about to sink in” for him and the prosecution after the testimony of former Donald Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

Cohen, star witness for the prosecution, has alleged that former President Trump forged financial documents in an attempt to conceal a hush money payment that Cohen made to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee in the 2024 election, denies that he had sexual relations with Daniels and has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

In his testimony on Monday, Cohen said that he paid Daniels $130,000 toward the end of the 2016 election race, while also mentioning that Daniels’ story about an alleged affair would have been “catastrophic” for the campaign. Cohen said that Trump called Daniels’ story a “total disaster” for his campaign as well, according to his testimony.

In an editorial written for the New York Post on Monday, Turley, also a professor at George Washington University Law School, said: “Michael Cohen apparently wants a reality show but, if his testimony Monday is any indication, reality is about to sink in for not just Cohen but the prosecutors and the court.”

Alvin Bragg
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on April 4 speaks during a press conference in New York City to discuss his indictment of former President Donald Trump. Attorney Jonathan Turley said reality is about to “sink…

“In stoking interest in his own appearance, the former Trump counsel promised the public that they should be ‘prepared to be surprised.’ Thus far, however, Cohen has offered nothing new and, more importantly, nothing to make the case for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg,” Turley continued.

Newsweek reached out to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and Cohen legal adviser Lanny Davis via email for comment on Monday.

In an additional email sent to Newsweek on Monday, Turley said that: “Judge [Juan] Merchan faces a considerable challenge in the motion for a directed verdict at the close of the prosecution. The elements of the crime have not been established by the evidence. There is also a striking lack of direct evidence involving Trump and key actions taken in the case, including the decision to denote this as a ‘legal expense.’ It is not even clear why this cannot be recorded as a legal expense.” Turley mentioned in his opinion piece that a directed verdict would throw “the case out before it goes to a jury.”

Randall Eliason, former federal prosecutor, posted on X, formerly Twitter, also saying in part that the district attorney has presented “no direct evidence Trump personally was involved in creating false internal business records related to the payments.”

However, CNN legal analyst Norm Eisen disagreed in his analysis of Cohen’s testimony, saying on X, “Today was the day when the prosecution crossed the barrier of beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Cohen is expected to take the stand again on Tuesday, then face cross-examination from Trump’s defense team. Dave Aronberg, Palm Beach County state attorney in Florida, told Newsweek on Monday: “The cross-examination will be for all the marbles. So far, Cohen is off to a good start.”