Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who filed charges earlier this year against former President Donald Trump regarding a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, says the rising level of crime in the Big Apple is fearful.
That is especially true of crime on the city’s subways, where violence has been rising for years amid some efforts to crack down.
“I know the statistics that transit crime is down,” he told Fox5. “But when one of my family members gets on the train, I get a knot in my stomach.”
The DA’s personal admission — he’s been widely criticized for being soft on crime — feeds the public’s perception of rising crime in the city, though NYPD statistics show a drop in some criminal activity.
“I live here, I’m raising my family here, so we have a lot more work to do,” Bragg told the outlet. “We do a number of long-term investigations involving wiretaps. We do targeted enforcement, so we are seeing the returns on that investigative work, and we’re going to do that kind of work.”
That said, according to Fox5, New York City residents, many of them, do not see much of a difference in terms of falling crime rates. One building superintendent, who was in the process of repainting graffiti near the main entrance, expressed his belief that crime has spiraled out of control in a brief interview with the outlet.
“Yesterday, you see the car, he’s crushing it, he took the baseball bat, it’s terrible.”
I asked him, “He smashed the car with a baseball bat?” He replied, “Yes.”
Another resident said, “I think it’s still iffy. It depends on the neighborhood that you’re in and the time of day; you might run into something.”
A longtime resident of the city said, “Personally, I’ve had no incidents on the streets.” Another resident noted, “I see it all the time; I didn’t see nothing change.”
Meanwhile, last month, a federal judge heard arguments from Trump’s legal team to move his “hush money” case out of a Manhattan courtroom and to federal jurisdiction.
As reported by ABC News, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York heard about three hours’ worth of testimony and oral arguments from Trump’s team regarding his 34-count indictment by Bragg regarding a payment the former president to Daniels during the 2016 campaign.
But the judge indicated he wasn’t inclined to agree to make the case federal.
“The act for which the president has been indicted does not relate to anything under the color of his office,” Halverstein said during the hearing, adding: “I intend to write and issue a decision within two weeks.”
Trump in 2017 wrote monthly reimbursement checks to his then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, from his personal funds having nothing to do with his official duties as president, a prosecutor said during the hearing in arguing to keep Trump’s criminal prosecution in State Supreme Court in Manhattan instead of federal court, where Trump’s defense attorneys say it belongs.
“Writing personal checks, even if he did it in the Oval Office, is not an official act,” the prosecutor, Matthew Colangelo, said.
“The president’s duties are not all-encompassing,” Colangelo, added, according to ABC News. “We know the president can, even when he’s president, have personal papers.”
While Trump may not be successful in getting the case moved to a federal courtroom, one legal expert says his team has already made one “good move.”
Famed Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz argued that Team Trump filing a $500 million lawsuit against Cohen, his former personal lawyer, was the perfect strategy because he believes it’ll help his case and hurt Bragg.
Cohen testified before the Manhattan grand jury that indicted Trump on criminal charges of falsifying business records related to Daniels.