Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who earlier this year pressed charges against former President Donald Trump for a hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, has expressed concern over the escalating crime levels in New York City.
This apprehension is particularly pronounced when it comes to subway crime, which has been steadily increasing over the years despite certain law enforcement efforts to curb it.
“Despite the statistics showing a decline in transit crime,” he stated in an interview with Fox5, “whenever a family member of mine boards the train, I feel an uneasiness.”
Bragg’s personal admission, criticized by many for being lenient on crime, aligns with the public’s perception of mounting criminal incidents in the city, although NYPD data demonstrates a reduction in certain criminal activities.
“Being a resident and raising my family here, we still have much work ahead,” Bragg informed the outlet. “We’re engaged in several long-term investigations involving wiretapping. We’re pursuing targeted enforcement, and we’re observing positive outcomes from these investigative efforts, which we’ll continue.”
Nonetheless, as reported by Fox5, a significant number of New York City residents don’t see substantial improvements in terms of declining crime rates. A building superintendent, in the midst of removing graffiti near the main entrance, briefly shared his belief that crime has spiraled out of control, mentioning incidents involving car vandalism.
“You could see it yesterday; he crushed the car, using a baseball bat. It’s awful.”
When asked about the car being smashed with a baseball bat, he confirmed, “Yes.”
Another resident voiced, “I believe it’s still uncertain. It depends on the neighborhood and the time of day; you might encounter something.”
A longtime city resident stated, “I haven’t personally experienced any incidents on the streets.” Another resident commented, “I witness it frequently; I haven’t noticed any change.”
In the meantime, last month, a federal judge heard arguments from Trump’s legal team requesting the relocation of his “hush money” case from a Manhattan courtroom to federal jurisdiction.
According to ABC News, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein from the Southern District of New York considered several hours of testimony and oral arguments from Trump’s legal team regarding the 34-count indictment by Bragg related to a payment made by the former president to Daniels during the 2016 campaign.
However, the judge signaled reluctance to move the case to federal jurisdiction.
“The actions for which the president is indicted don’t pertain to any official duties,” Hellerstein remarked during the hearing. He added, “I plan to make a decision and issue it within two weeks.”
ABC News reported:
In 2017, Trump issued monthly reimbursement checks to his then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, from his personal funds, unrelated to his official presidential duties. A prosecutor argued during the hearing that the criminal case against Trump should remain in State Supreme Court in Manhattan rather than being shifted to federal court, as Trump’s defense attorneys contended.
“Even if he did it in the Oval Office, writing personal checks isn’t an official act,” explained the prosecutor, Matthew Colangelo.
“The president’s responsibilities aren’t all-encompassing,” Colangelo added, according to ABC News. “We’re aware that the president can have personal documents even during his presidency.”
While Trump might not succeed in having the case moved to federal court, a legal expert believes his legal team has made a savvy move.
Renowned Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz asserted that Trump’s team’s $500 million lawsuit against Cohen, his former personal lawyer, was a strategic maneuver. Dershowitz believes this move could bolster Trump’s case and hinder Bragg’s position.
Cohen testified before the Manhattan grand jury that indicted Trump on criminal charges of falsifying business records linked to Daniels.