Democratic strategist Paul Begala fired back at GOP campaign adviser Alice Stewart on CNN Friday morning after she complained that the indictment of Donald Trump by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg looks like a "political" stunt designed to derail his third presidential bid.
Sitting on a panel with host Jim Sciutto, Stewart said she didn't want to defend Trump but said the indictment nonetheless looks partisan.
"I am hardly here to defend Donald Trump and the merits of this case, but when you step back and look at the overall narrative of what Donald Trump has been saying, and telling Republicans, that the judicial system is unfair, and there was an unequal system of justice for political adversaries," Stewart remarked.
"This plays right into what Donald Trump is saying and what a lot of his supporters believe."
"Look, no one would rather Donald Trump get off of the political stage sooner than myself, but this is not the way to do it," she insisted.
"Let the voters decide this. And when you have Bragg campaigning and vowing that he is going to take down Donald Trump, this right here, what we're seeing here just plays into what many people are saying is the weaponization of the legal system to attack a political adversary and really to advance a political agenda. That's the way Republicans are seeing it, and they are doubling down on this."
"Are those the facts?" host Sciuto asked Begala.
"No!" Begala shot back. "If they were every one of those Republican politicians needs to be asked this what did you say when Michael Cohen was prosecuted for the same crime? You know who prosecuted Michael Cohen? Not a partisan DA in New York. The Trump Justice Department, the Trump-selected US attorney for the Southern District of New York."
"The Trump administration indicted Mr. Cohen for the same operative facts -- indicted him, convicted him with a guilty plea and incarcerated him," he continued. "Now they're squealing like a pig stuck under a gate. But if there is one system of justice if you're going to indict Bonnie, you've got to indict Clyde."
"Now. I'm not a big fan of this case, actually, I'm not," he admitted. "I think it's far more consequential what he's alleged to have done wrong in Georgia, allegedly pressuring people to turn over the election."
He later added, "if all those distinguished republican politicians had said the same thing when the same case was brought against Michael Cohen by the Trump administration, they'd have a little credibility."
CNN 03 31 2023 09 25 18youtu.be