Legal analysts shocked that after everything Trump's done, he's going to 'go down' for Stormy Daniels incident
Donald Trump during CNN debate (Photo: Screen capture via video)

Many political analysts and armchair pundits on Twitter thought that Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis was going to be the first to drop charges against Donald Trump. That was when Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said: Hold my beer.

The New York Times reported on Thursday afternoon that the DA was close to making criminal charges against Trump that would include both state and federal charges.

Legal analysts lined up for cable news and took to Twitter to read between the lines of the Times report and try to figure out how it would work. Others opted for metaphorical grave dancing instead.

"Psyched to have to tell my grandkids how a person who stole 1000s of kids from their families, and who tried to steal an election, was prosecuted for ... this," joked civil rights lawyer Matthew Segal.

Norm Eisen responded to those saying, "C'mon, is Trump really gonna get charged by the Manhattan DA at last?" He explained, "Yes he is. I've been analyzing the evidence for years and it's a strong case, though not without challenges."

He wasn't the only one to point out some of the long-shot possible charges.

"The rare time I half agree with the Trump spokesperson. This whole election fraud by private information payoff is a real stretch of the legal imagination. Too cute by half," said Georgia State Law professor Anthony Michael Kreis responding to the statement by Trump's lawyers.

Law professor Jonathan Adler agreed that it was certainly a new approach.

"Combining the criminal charge with a violation of state election law would be a novel legal theory for any criminal case, let alone one against the former president," he tweeted.

"I’m concerned at the inevitable level of disappointment and anger when people find out that indicting Donald Trump will not — by itself — save democracy," said legal analyst Allison Gill on Wednesday. "Once indicted — and I believe he will be indicted — he will continue to spew hatred and stoke violence and campaign and hold rallies and post on social media. Indicting him is necessary to help deter future despots, but once Trump is gone, the next one will take his place. Democracy will be saved by voting, resisting autocracy, participating in civics, and pushing back on disinformation."

"Democracy will be saved by electing people who will appoint judges that will throw out idiotic lawsuits aimed at overturning elections," she continued. "Democracy will be saved by electing sane and rational secretaries of state and state legislators that won’t throw out your votes. So yes, indicting the leaders of the coup is crucial, but it’s not a panacea. All institutions must hold, which requires an educated electorate willing to participate in government."

"I said this when people thought Mueller would 'save us,' and I’m reminding everyone now. In fact, once Donald is indicted, he will probably become MORE powerful and insufferable — making our job as voters MORE critical," she closed.

She retweeted the same comment, reminding folks, "Don't forget, indictments for Donald alone won't save democracy. Trump will fundraise off them and it could strengthen his base. They're awesome, though. And necessary." In a statement from Trump's spokesperson, they said that the threat of indictment is just another "Witch Hunt ... and they've come up empty at every turn." It goes on to paint the president as "the victim of extortion then, just as he is now. It's an embarrassment to the Democrat prosecutors, and it's an embarrassment to New York City."

McGill suggested, "I wouldn’t call a 17-count indictment of the Trump org as 'coming up empty,' but maybe for a lifelong criminal, that’s a drop in the bucket."

While Trump might be trying to claim the victim, former prosecutor Renato Mariotti told MSNBC's Joy Reid, "I think it's fair to say that Trump is ultimately the driver of this scheme."

Indeed, when your signature is on the check, it makes a fairly clear link.

In a thread with Teri Kanefield, a former appellate defender, she cited attorney and former federal public defender Mark Reichel.

"This could be the prosecution's last move before they decide what to do: Indict. Not indict," she wrote in a Mastodon thread. "Now, some semantics. Was the headline inaccurate or misleading? The headline is misleading, but the subheading is accurate because of the word 'could.' 'A STRONG INDICATION' that an indictment 'COULD' soon follow. In other words, it's sort of a definite maybe. Now, nonlawyerly: I'd think YES he'll be indicted."

Meanwhile, Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, told Raw Story that if something isn't done to stop Trump, he fears what could happen to our country if other politicians think they can continue the way he has.