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Tipsheet

Trump Seems Pretty Certain on Who Leaked Unconfirmed Details of Indictment Against Him

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Former and potentially future President Donald Trump has reacted to a reported leak of the indictment by a Manhattan grand jury on charges brought against him by DA Alvin Bragg. As evidenced by his TruthSocial post, Trump believes that Bragg himself leaked the indictment, the details which were given exclusively to Yahoo! News.

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Trump mentioned that he knows the reporter, Michael Isikoff, who is the chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo! News, and "so, unfortunately, does he," referring to Bragg. With all capital letters, Trump emphasizes that Bragg "MUST BE IMMEDIATELY INDICTED," especially "if he wants to really clean up his reputation," and that it would be doing "the honorable thing." Trump concluded his post by taking a shot at Bragg's wife, Jamila Marie Ponton. 

When it comes to the 34 felony counts that Trump is reportedly being charged with, Isikoff cites "a source who has been briefed on the procedures for the arraignment of the former president," also mentioning that "none of which are misdemeanors."

The source, if speaking truthfully, also confirmed what has been long suspected, that Trump will not be placed in handcuffs, placed in a jail cell, or have a mugshot taken. "Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office, which has been consulting with the Secret Service and New York City court officials, concluded that there was no reason to subject the former president to handcuffs or a mug shot," Isikoff reported. 

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Not only are none of the 34 felony counts reportedly not misdemeanors, but they could have been, which highlights the political nature of these charges and the unprecedented action of indicting a former president. Emphasis is added:

The charge of falsification of business records can be prosecuted in New York state as a misdemeanor. But Bragg’s office bumped up all the charges to Class E felonies — the lowest level of felonies in the New York State penal code on the grounds that the conduct was intended to conceal another underlying crime, according to the source.

Under the New York State penal code, a conviction for the Class E felony of falsifying business records can result in a prison term of up to four years. But as a practical matter, that seems extremely unlikely. “No one gets jail time for that as a first offender,” said a New York law enforcement official.

The evidence for the underlying crime that escalated Trump’s alleged misdemeanors to felonies is still not clear and won’t be until the indictment is unsealed on Tuesday. But it is believed to relate to the payment of $130,000 in hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels during the closing weeks of the 2016 election to conceal an extramarital encounter with Trump.

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If this were indeed a "practical matter," one could argue that Bragg wouldn't be bringing these charges on an untested legal theory in the first place. Further, if Bragg did indeed leak the details, as Trump claims, it further emphasizes that the progressive DA knows how weak his case is. 

Trump is not the only one who believes Bragg or his office may have leaked the details of the indictment. Fox News' Jesse Watters pointed to coverage from CNN, which mentioned the 34 counts before Monday night. During "Jesse Watters Primetime," Watters offered that "Bragg's office leaked the indictment to CNN, unlawful grand jury disclosure, that's a felony" and that "there's actually more evidence that Bragg committed a felony than Trump did." 

CNN seems to be one of the few who have really bought into the case, though, as our friends at Twitchy highlighted, even Mary Trump, the former president's niece who is a fierce critic of her uncle, called them out for their obsession. 

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It's worth emphasizing that these details have not yet been confirmed, and that a spokesperson for Bragg told Yahoo! News that the DA's office "declined to comment on a sealed indictment." Nevertheless, the sense of desperation from Bragg and his office continues to grow ever stronger. 

"34 FELONIES" is currently trending on Twitter in reaction to the news.

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