Transcript: Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, on “Face the Nation,” June 2, 2024

The following is a transcript of an interview with Preet Bharara, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, on “Face the Nation,” airing June 2, 2024.


MARGARET BRENNAN: And we turn now to former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, who supported Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in his election. He also worked with and even hired Trump's lawyer on the case, Todd Blanche. Good morning Preet.

PREET BHARARA: Good morning. I just want a quick correction. I didn't hire Todd Blanche, but I did promote him twice. And I consider both Alvin Bragg and Todd Blanche friends of mine.

MARGARET BRENNAN: And he was actually Mr. Trump's lawyer in this trial. So what does having this criminal record now do for Donald Trump with these other three criminal cases?

BHARARA: Well, that's an interesting question. You know, there's a lot of speculation about whether or not this criminal conviction will result in a prison sentence for Donald Trump. That is up in the air, there are arguments for and there are arguments against. But no matter what happens, the fact of this criminal conviction will be on his record if it remains that way. At a time when the future criminal trials are taking place, and if he is convicted in the future on the federal grounds, the fact of this conviction here, if it is still on the books, would result in a potentially higher prison sentence in those areas. future cases. So it does have a consequence, because unlike a week ago, he will now have a criminal record and the criminal record will be taken into account when imposing the sentence.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Important point. You said you were promoted to the president's lawyer when you were working together. Would you promote him based on his courtroom performance defending Mr. Trump?

BHARARA: You know, it's very easy to do that, and other people on the panel, and criticize people's performance. Sometimes it is true that someone could do better during the process. Trials are difficult and there is a lot of checking here. But sometimes the facts and the law are what the facts are of the law. And sometimes great lawyers, who have performed very, very well, lose, and sometimes not-good lawyers win because the government hasn't proven its case. So I'm not going to take a bull's-eye on Adam. I thought… I think he could have been stronger on some of the cross-examinations. And I'll leave it at that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, the sentencing is July 4, excuse me, July 11, four days before the convention, as we said. What grounds for appeal do you think Mr. Trump has here?

BHARARA: So I think they'll make some important points. You know, Donald Trump doesn't want to leave anything on the cutting room floor. I think some of his arguments are not frivolous. I agree with what Jan said, that in the normal course of things it is very, very difficult to overturn a criminal conviction, but it happens. It happened to me, it happened to every good prosecutor's office that brings aggressive cases. No one has a 100% record on appeal. That said, it is a very low percentage. A number of things come to mind, including the fact that the judge didn't change the venue, the fact that the judge didn't recuse himself. I don't think they are strong, but I think they will be fixed. The fact that Stormy Daniels testified a bit broadly about some of the gross details of their sexual encounter, they say, will be prejudicial and should not have gotten in, although they may have opened the door to that. And then there's this kind of technical stuff that I'm sure blinds the eyes of laymen. And that is the extent to which the second crime, the fact that made and transformed the crime into a crime, the basis of which did not have to be decided unanimously by the jury. So the next crime, the misdemeanor, was appropriate, based on the jury's decision, if it was: the falsification of the business records was done in furtherance or concealment or commission of another crime, namely a election crime in New Zealand. York, and that could have happened in three different ways.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But…

BHARARA: –Jury instructions, and they don't have to be unanimous on these three different ways. And that's probably an issue for appeal.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Let me just touch on that because that is something that Mr. Trump and his allies have talked about. This case concerned the manipulation of elections and the associated fraud. His allies say this was just a paperwork issue, someone mislabeled this as legal fees. How would you tell the layman to understand this?

BHARARA: Look, the underlying crime, and that's why it's a crime, is falsifying corporate records. But the reason it becomes a crime, not the most serious crime on record in New York, but a crime that any crime is serious, is if that crime, that crime was committed to conceal or commit another crime , and the other crime alleged by prosecutors and obtained convictions was improperly furthering another's election by unlawful means.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yeah.

BHARARA: Either by forging other documents, or by committing some other tax crime, or by further electoral fraud. And so the prosecutor did, I think, as well as anyone could do for laymen, because the jury was clearly made up of a series of laymen. But this was a serious matter that undermined and disrupted the 2016 elections. And that is serious and should not be taken lightly.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So, you know, we're seeing some rhetoric from Republican lawmakers, including Senator Marco Rubio, who said that Mr. Trump was being held hostage, the victim of a sham political show trial, like the ones that the Communists used in Cuba and the Soviet Union, which rails against the ruling class. How should one, in terms of our legal system in this country, understand such a characterization?

BHARARA: Well, I think you know, it's silly. It's completely foolish. The trial and all aspects of the trial took place openly and in public. It should be recalled that the jury selection process was also attended by Trump's legal team. They had all the peremptory challenges granted to them by law. The judge, while some accusations have been made about his impartiality, or lack thereof, his rulings are visible, as other people have noted. Sometimes he ruled in favor of the Trump team, sometimes he judged against the Trump team. He was quite fair and honest. A jury of 12 people–

MARGARET BRENNAN: –Yes–

BHARARA: – Those selected and approved by both parties brought in the verdict.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Right.

BHARARA: So I don't know what, what a sham. The rules of evidence were followed and adhered to. So I don't really know what's going on here.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay.

BHARARA: Other than pure party politics.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Yesterday, President Biden spent time with his son Hunter. And tomorrow, in another unusual situation facing our country, Biden's Justice Department will begin a trial in Delaware against the president's son, with Hunter facing three gun possession charges, with a maximum of 25 years in prison. How much hot water does he have here?

BHARARA: He's in big trouble because he's been indicted federally, just like Donald Trump is in big trouble if he's indicted in state court. But I think it's important to keep this in mind, in the wake of your question about the allegations of this vast conspiracy by both prosecutors and the federal Department of Justice, which is acting on a witch hunt: partisanly the Republican Party to overthrow. Here you have the son of the sitting President of the United States of America being tried by his own Department of Justice. Can anyone listening to this broadcast in a million years understand and expect that if Donald Trump were to be re-elected and a US attorney retained by Biden indicted Donald Trump Jr., that Donald Trump would do nothing about it in the future? way Joe Biden has stayed out of it? I do not think so. So that's important to remember. And the other thing happening this week is a continuation of the trial of Democratic senior and key Senator Bob Menendez.

MARGARET BRENNAN: –Yes–

BHARARA: –By the same Justice Department that these politicians are accusing of being biased.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Okay. Preet Bharara, thank you for your insight and analysis. We'll have to leave it at that. And Face the Nation will be back soon.

Related Posts

The White House is praising Biden's new immigration policy toward undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens

The White House is praising Biden’s new immigration policy toward undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens, With less than five months to go the general electionsPresident Biden announced sweeping federal action…

Texas doctor charged with obtaining confidential patient information about transgender care

A Texas doctor who calls himself a whistleblower on transgender care for minors is accused of illegally obtaining private information about patients at the nation's largest children's hospital who were…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You Missed

North Korea appears to be building walls near the DMZ, satellite images show

  • June 22, 2024
North Korea appears to be building walls near the DMZ, satellite images show

Google's VPN may be causing connection issues on the Pixel 8

  • June 22, 2024
Google's VPN may be causing connection issues on the Pixel 8

The Florida judge responsible for the secret trial against Trump files a dossier

  • June 22, 2024
The Florida judge responsible for the secret trial against Trump files a dossier

Hacker claims to have 30 million customer details of Australian ticket seller TEG

  • June 22, 2024
Hacker claims to have 30 million customer details of Australian ticket seller TEG

‘Slave Play’ playwright Jeremy O. Harris is on a mission to diversify theater : NPR

  • June 22, 2024
‘Slave Play’ playwright Jeremy O. Harris is on a mission to diversify theater : NPR

Fauci blames Trump's administration staff for feeding him misinformation and hostility

  • June 22, 2024
Fauci blames Trump's administration staff for feeding him misinformation and hostility

CDK Global Cyberattack Leaves Thousands of Car Dealers Spinning Their Wheels

  • June 22, 2024
CDK Global Cyberattack Leaves Thousands of Car Dealers Spinning Their Wheels

Why will Kylian Mbappé wear a mask at Euro 2024 and what are the rules?

  • June 22, 2024
Why will Kylian Mbappé wear a mask at Euro 2024 and what are the rules?

Angel Reese makes WNBA rookie double-double history: NPR

  • June 22, 2024
Angel Reese makes WNBA rookie double-double history: NPR

Refrigerating 'blood oranges' could even make them healthier – a bonus for consumers

  • June 22, 2024
Refrigerating 'blood oranges' could even make them healthier – a bonus for consumers

Why Anthropic's Artifacts May Be This Year's Most Important AI Feature: Interface Battle Reveal

  • June 22, 2024
Why Anthropic's Artifacts May Be This Year's Most Important AI Feature: Interface Battle Reveal