That DA Alvin Bragg’s case was a fishing expedition is not surprising, that his office and the New York Times are so cheerful about laying that out there isn’t too surprising either. Whatever principles or judgment once existed have largely gone by the wayside and their expected audience is only complaining that it took so long.
But yes, for the record, it was a fishing expedition.
What they were doing, new interviews show, was going back to square one, poring over the reams of evidence that had already been collected by his predecessor.
For a time, their efforts were haphazard as they examined a wide range of Mr. Trump’s business practices, including whether he had lied about his net worth, which was the focus of the investigation when Mr. Bragg had declined to seek an indictment. But by July, Mr. Bragg had decided to assign several additional prosecutors to pursue one particular strand that struck him as promising: a hush-money payment made on Mr. Trump’s behalf to a porn star during the final days of the 2016 presidential campaign.
This is classic, ‘show me the man and I’ll show you the crime’ stuff.
Or as another op-ed in the Times notes, “‘Attorney general and future justice Robert Jackson observed more than 80 years ago, “A prosecutor stands a fair chance of finding at least a technical violation of some act on the part of almost anyone.’ He added, ‘It is not a question of discovering the commission of a crime and then looking for the man who has committed it; it is a question of picking the man and then searching the law books or putting investigators to work to pin some offense on him.’”
That’s an apt summary of what’s being described here. This wasn’t an investigation of a crime, it was what it had always been, a free-ranging investigation of a political opponent in search of a crime.