While prosecutors in a criminal case are supposed to try an win a conviction, Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, claimed on Thursday that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg inadvertently strengthened former President Donald Trump’s argument for immunity.

New York Judge Juan Merchan has mandated Trump’s presence at the trial concerning the $130,000 payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, effectively barring him from attending the Supreme Court’s oral arguments on presidential immunity scheduled for Thursday. Turley suggested that Bragg’s prosecution might undermine arguments that special counsel Jack Smith intends to present.

“In some ways, having him in New York is the best argument he could put in front of the justices because Alvin Bragg is making the case for him,” Turley said. “I mean, as the court considers the implications of not extending immunity to presidents, Alvin Bragg is showing what that means.”

“This is a highly political, in my view, legally absurd case in Manhattan, and it is playing out as the court considers the implications of this type of prosecution, and so for the court, I think it’s only going to reinforce this idea that we don’t necessarily want to go to either extreme, but perhaps there is a nuanced or middle road here where we can afford some protection to a president for actions taken related to their office,” Turley continued.


In August, Smith obtained a four-count indictment against Trump, centered on the former president’s purported attempts to contest the outcomes of the 2020 election. Trump’s legal team, in February, accused Smith of harboring “a political motive” to prosecute the case before the 2024 presidential election, and former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy highlighted this observation following Turley’s remarks.

“The fact that there seems like there’s a crisis and there’s criticism of the court that they didn’t get to this fast enough is not over a legal imperative, it’s over a political imperative where you have Democratic prosecutors, one in New York is an elected Democratic prosecutor, who decided that they wanted to get Trump on trial and by their life, hopefully convicted in the run-up to the election,” McCarthy said Thursday.

“To my mind, if I’m the court, I’m actually put off by that. I don’t feel like a pressure to accelerate my consideration of the case, I resent the fact that I have been thrown gratuitously into a political context,” he added.

Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.