Former President Donald Trump, his supporters, and numerous legal commentators have weighed in on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's motivations in pursuing charges in the Stormy Daniels hush money matter, but an unearthed radio interview given by the prosecutor two years ago has shed additional light on what may be driving him.
The chat between Bragg and HOT 97 personality Ebro Darden occurred in January 2021, during the former's campaign for the job he currently holds, and it provides telling insight into the preconceived notions he brought to the office of district attorney with regard to Trump.
In a speech delivered at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida immediately after his arraignment on 34 felony charges, Trump blasted Bragg for having “campaigned on the fact that he would get President Trump.”
“'I gotta get him, I'm going to get him,'” Trump said, characterizing Bragg's attitude before even ascending to the role of D.A.
“This is a guy campaigning. You want to get President Trump at any cost and this before he knew anything about me, didn't know a thing about me. He was campaigning,” the former commander-in-chief declared.
Trump also took to his Truth Social platform and posted clips from the aforementioned HOT 97 interview for the purpose of supporting his contention that Bragg was out to bring a case against him regardless of the facts.
In Bragg's conversation with Darden, he was asked right off the bat whether he would secure a conviction of Trump if elected.
“I'm the candidate in the race who has the experience with Donald Trump,” Bragg replied. “I was the chief deputy in the attorney general's office. We sued the Trump administration over 100 times...[s]o I know how to litigate with him.”
Bragg did not stop there, adding, “And I think, you know, it'd be hard to argue with the fact that that'd be the most important most high-profile case. And I've seen him up front and seen the lawlessness that he can do.”
When asked directly by Darden whether he believed such a prosecution – and presumably a conviction – should happen, Bragg replied, “I believe we have to hold him accountable.”
Another remark from the interview Trump has raised as extremely problematic in terms of Bragg's motivation was when he told Darden, “You are right, we've got two standards of justice. Harvey Weinstein, Jeffrey Epstein. Being a rich old white man has allowed you to evade accountability in Manhattan. That includes Trump and his children.”
Though Bragg said he needed to be careful about what he said for fear that once he took office, “the first motion I get from the Trump team is I've got to recuse myself because I prejudged the facts,” the allegations he makes in the interview appear to indicate that he did precisely that.
“So, I've seen a pattern of lawlessness over 20 years. And so I am inclined to believe all I see in the public domain, and...believe that there's a path forwards there to make a case,” Bragg said.
Following Trump's arraignment, the editorial board of the New York Post outlined the much-discussed weaknesses in Bragg's case, including the inflation to 34 the number of individual charges stemming from just three payment events and his attempt to bootstrap campaign finance charges to avoid statute of limitations problems and lamented, “Alvin Bragg wanted to make good on his promise to 'get Trump,' and it looks like nothing else mattered.”