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 June 16, 2024

FEC Official Claims DA Bragg Overstepped Legal Bounds in Trump Case

A Federal Elections Commission member has openly criticized the Manhattan DA's legal approach in the Trump prosecution.

Newsmax reported that FEC Commissioner Trey Trainor accused Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg of overreaching federal jurisdiction in former President Donald Trump's prosecution.

Last Thursday, Trey Trainor, a commissioner at the Federal Elections Commission, spoke before the House Judiciary Committee, voicing significant concerns about the manner in which Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has handled the prosecution of Donald Trump.

The case against Trump, led by Bragg, revolves around a $130,000 payment made to Stormy Daniels, which prosecutors argue unlawfully influenced the 2016 election. Bragg pursued state charges for falsifying business records, leading to a conviction of Trump on 34 counts this May in a Manhattan courtroom.

Trainor criticized the Department of Justice for not stepping in, suggesting that this situation should fall under federal jurisdiction, given its implications on federal election law.

Concerns Over Federal Authority and State Prosecutions

In a piece for the Daily Caller, Trainor expressed his dismay at the DOJ's inaction, emphasizing that the FEC should maintain exclusive authority over campaign finance law enforcement to prevent politically motivated prosecutions.

"By pursuing charges related to alleged violations of federal campaign finance laws, Mr. Bragg has effectively usurped the jurisdiction that Congress has explicitly reserved for federal authorities," Trainor stated, indicating a significant overreach by the state prosecutor.

This legal approach, according to Trainor, not only challenges the statutory framework established by the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) but also risks politicizing legal proceedings at the state level.

During his testimony, Trainor described the potential dangers of state prosecutors interpreting federal campaign laws differently, which could lead to a fragmented legal approach across the country. "Now imagine the 50 states enacting the crime of 'campaigning by unlawful means' and a thousand different state and local prosecutors prosecuting presidents, former presidents, presidential candidates, and any number of candidates for other federal offices under varying interpretations of the FECA by bootstrapping those laws through their state's 'unlawful means' criminal code," he explained.

He further remarked on the perplexity of U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland's lack of intervention in the case, describing it as a missed opportunity to uphold federal jurisdiction over such significant matters.

"The dangerous precedent of local prosecutorial overreach in matters of federal concern must not be left unaddressed," Trainor added, stressing the importance of maintaining clear boundaries between state and federal legal proceedings.

Alvin Bragg is scheduled to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on July 12, a day after Trump's sentencing hearing. His upcoming appearance is anticipated to further illuminate the ongoing debate over jurisdiction and prosecutorial reach in cases involving federal election law violations.


As the legal and political communities await further developments, the discourse around federal versus state jurisdiction in enforcing campaign finance laws continues to intensify, highlighting a critical area of American law that may have lasting implications on future political and legal processes in the United States.

FEC Commissioner Trey Trainor's testimony before the House Judiciary Committee highlights a significant controversy in the legal handling of Donald Trump's case by Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg.

Trainor's critique focuses on the perceived encroachment of state jurisdiction over federal election laws and warns against the politicization of prosecutorial powers. With Bragg's upcoming testimony, the national conversation on the balance of legal powers is poised to continue.

Written By:
Christina Davie

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