BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Former President Donald Trump arrived in New York Monday afternoon, about 24 hours before his arraignment in criminal court in Manhattan. Though the indictment is still closed to the public, sources say Trump will likely be charged with a felony related to falsifying business records.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers are speaking out on what could be one of the biggest court cases in the country’s history.
Rep. Nick Langworthy (NY-23) believes the move is purely political, criticizing District Attorney Alan Bragg and his office. Langworthy calls it an abuse of power.
“This is judicial gymnastics is what Alvin Bragg is doing here,” Rep. Langworthy, a Republican who represents New York’s 23rd Congressional District, told News 4. “This is a heavy, political prosecution. This is an abuse of the system. This is not something that other prosecutors that looked into it, that looked into it very seriously, even wanted to follow through with.”
New York Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes thinks this will be a fair judicial process. She criticized her Republican colleagues saying the party is tough on crime, but is making an exception in this case.
“No one is above the law. I don’t think there are any political shenanigans going on here at all,” Peoples-Stokes said. “For a party that is so tough on crime, for them to all of the sudden go lenient on it, I think is a little disingenuous and not fair to the system. If there was no reason for him to be indicted, he probably wouldn’t be.”
Attorney Barry Covert is not involved in this case, but says finding an impartial jury will prove challenging for the court.
“Having been involved in many high profile cases, obviously there’s never been a case that’s had this type of profile, but I suspect a judge will be able to draw a fair venire, It will just be time consuming,” Covert explained.
Covert says this trial will be complicated. There have been discussions of gag orders for both sides, something Covert says could be a conflict with the First Amendment. He calls this a true test of the justice system.
“We are going to find out whether indeed the court can stand up to the type of pressure and scrutiny that is going to be pressed upon the court, upon the prosecution, upon the judge, upon the jurors,” Covert continued.
Former President Trump is now in New York City and is expected to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon.
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Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a reporter in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.