“I know I am, but what are you,” is better suited to playgrounds than courtrooms, but don’t try to tell Donald Trump and his supporters that as their newest defense of the man they’ve built a whole political movement (read: cult) around is that it’s actually District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his Grand Jury members who should face charges over “leaks.”
This particular theory seems to have gained popularity following an op-ed by Trump apologist Alan Dershowitz (who, by the way, wants his critics to know the former president is not blackmailing him and has no kompromat to hold over his head) in which he lays out his view that the case is one of “selective prosecution” and that Bragg is “making up a crime” against Trump instead of investigating the “real crime” of leaks from his team.
As an attorney himself, Dershowitz is well aware of a fact his readers may not understand or consider: this isn’t one man, activist or otherwise, leveling an accusation against Trump, but nearly two dozen Grand Jurists, looking at evidence to which the public is not privy, and listening to testimony from witnesses, only some of whom have been publicly revealed, and concluding there is enough evidence of a crime to proceed with charges.
Following his op-ed, others, including Tucker Carlson and Trump attorney James Trusty, also griped about the alleged leaks, with the former suggesting that these were a “much bigger” crime than any Trump committed.
This boost rushed the theory out into social media, where the former president’s worshippers ran with it. Dershowitz’s opinion piece in The Sun asserted:
“It is unlikely that the leak came from the Trump team, which seemed genuinely surprised. The most likely, though uncertain, scenario is that a person in Mr. Bragg’s office or a grand juror unlawfully leaked the sealed information. That would be a class E felony, subject to imprisonment.”
Realistically, much of the information that has become public (and to be clear, relatively little is actually known) has multiple potential sources.
For example, when we learned that an indictment could come “as soon as next week” (about two weeks ahead of the actual date), Fox News broke
the story, citing an unnamed “court source.”
However, the basis of that news was that the D.A. was meeting with law enforcement to prepare for the process — suggesting that the ‘leak’ didn’t happen until people outside Bragg’s team were brought into the process.
The Trump-loving attorney also describes the news that the Grand Jury voted to indict as a ‘leak’ — but the indictment itself would not be secret, and once the former president was formally indicted, the fact that the Grand Jury had voted to indict becomes fairly obvious.
Moreover, witnesses before the panel aren’t held to the same standards of secrecy — for instance, Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels had every right to state that they were asked to be in Manhattan on a given day to give testimony, and reporters or others outside the courtroom can observe certain facts, like former National Enquirer publisher David Pecker showing up.
The lack of actual leaks is demonstrated, rather, in the fact that we do not know the actual content of the indictment, only a vague report that it is said to contain 34 counts, nor do we know anything about witness testimony that doesn’t come from the witnesses themselves, or from general public knowledge of their relationships to Trump and the allegations against him.
For example, the appearance of the aforementioned Pecker suggests that he likely testified about his role in the ‘catch-and-kill’ process to silence Daniels’ story, but that’s only suggested by the fact that he had admitted, years ago, that this was for the purposes of protecting Trump’s campaign, not from any new information about his testimony.
In short, Trump’s defenders are stretching to accuse Bragg, his office, and Grand Jurors of leaking information, when in truth, their process has been virtually airtight.