As an indictment looms for Donald Trump, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is poised to become the first prosecutor ever to bring criminal charges against a former American president. It’s a distinction that puts him in a high-profile but perilous spot.
Having occupied the district attorney’s office for only 15 months, Bragg has already endured a firestorm sparked by a progressive overhaul of criminal justice policies and a public rebuke from two prominent prosecutors who resigned during the Trump investigation. Now, in Trump, Bragg faces what may be his most challenging adversary, as the low-key, politics-averse prosecutor prepares to take on the brash, mudslinging former president.
In recent weeks, Trump has already sought to paint Bragg as a liberal firebrand, promoting criticism about his progressive policies on ending the prosecution of minor offenses and curbing jail time for certain crimes. Trump has seized on a $500,000 donation from a political action committee supported by billionaire liberal donor George Soros to Bragg’s campaign. It was part of a nationwide effort by the group, Color of Change, to help elect district attorneys who want to end mass incarceration in part by not seeking bail for some crimes.
Critics on the right, and even some on the left, like New York City Mayor Eric Adams, see those efforts as fueling crime and endangering police officers. The policies have made Bragg a convenient target for Trump, who has a history of claiming political bias by those investigating him.
But according to those who know Bragg, he is, occasionally to his detriment, uninterested in political calculations and generally indifferent to the types of public-relations offenses Trump likes to wage. [Continue reading…]