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Trump Indictment Flawed, May Violate His 6th Amendment Rights, Experts Say

Published: April 6, 2023
Former US president Donald Trump leaves after speaking during a press conference following his court appearance over an alleged 'hush-money' payment, at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, on April 4, 2023. (Image: CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Legal experts are arguing that the charges included in the indictment against former U.S. president Donald Trump are vague, dubious and lack merit and may very well violate his Sixth Amendment rights.

Legal expert, Alan Dershowitz, who taught at Harvard Law School for nearly 50 years weighed in telling the Epoch Times, “There is no part of the case that is not weak.”

The bulk of the charges stem from an alleged $130,000 payment made by Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to former adult film star Stormy Daniels to secure her silence about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump prior to his White House bid in 2016. Court filings allege that Trump then reimbursed Cohen for the payment via 34 false entries in New York business records. 

However, “A felony falsifying records charge requires a prosecutor to prove that it was done with the intent to hide the commission of a second crime,” as explained in an article by Gary Bai of The Epoch Times. 

Weakening the New York prosecutor’s case is a lack of clarity on what that second crime actually is, an issue experts are calling “highly problematic.”

According to trial attorney John O’Conner, this is the “weakest part of the case.”

“First, no crime was identified in the indictment. Number two, the prosecutor named several possible crimes that could be hidden by the false entry,” O’Conner said, adding that, “But that’s an improperly charged crime. You cannot have alternative crimes.”

“In other words, he is saying, ‘Well, there are several that he could have been covering up.’ Well, that’s known as a duplicitous indictment,” he added.


The Sixth Amendment

The Sixth Amendment of the constitution ensures the right for a criminal defendant to “be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor…”

This right may have been violated considering Trump is unaware of the totality of charges levied against him. 

When New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg was questioned about this by a reporter he simply replied, “The indictment doesn’t specify it because the law does not so require,” Fox News reported.

However, Fox News legal analyst, Gregg Jarrett, challenged Bragg’s comments saying, “He does [have to name it, via] the Sixth Amendment. [The indictment] is therefore facially defective. It is deficient on its face and it would be susceptible to a motion-to-dismiss.”

Washington Times editor Charlie Hurt blasted the process as “a circus” and as “ridiculous.”

“[T]his is such a circus – it’s so absurd. It’s so ridiculous. Alvin Bragg has so embarrassed himself, embarrassed to the legal profession that it really is going to, I think, set the tone for anything else any of these wako, crazed, lunatic, left-wing, politicized Democrat DA’s want to do to try to destroy Trump,” Hurt said, according to Fox News.