Trump Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe Says Manhattan DA Indictment Leak Is a ‘Felony’
Trump Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe Says Manhattan DA Indictment Leak Is a ‘Felony’

By Jack Phillips

Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe said that the leaking of information suggesting that former President Donald Trump would be indicted is a crime, suggesting that someone inside Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office committed a felony offense.

“The only felony of which we can be certain to come out of this Alvin Bragg prosecution in New York is the felony committed either by DA Bragg himself or someone on the grand jury that he’s using for this perversion of our justice system,” Ratcliffe told “Sunday Morning Futures” on Fox Business.

Since last week, anonymously sourced reports said that Trump could be charged with as many as three-dozen counts in connection to Bragg’s investigation. The indictment, which was voted on by a Manhattan grand jury on March 30, has not yet been unsealed by a judge.

Both NBC News and CNN cited “sources familiar” with the indictment, although they did not specify whether it was someone on the grand jury, an official in Bragg’s office, or someone else. Neither Trump nor his lead attorney, Joe Tacopina, have seen the indictment or know the charges yet, and the former president is expected to arrive in Manhattan for his arraignment on Tuesday.

“The accused, Donald Trump, and his lawyers, don’t know what’s in this sealed indictment. But for the past … 72 hours, the American public has been discussing supposedly 30 or 34 felony counts,” Ratcliffe, a former Texas Republican congressman before he was appointed by Trump, told the outlet. “Leaking grand jury information is a felony, and so the only people capable of that would be Alvin Bragg’s team or members of the grand jury itself.”

Other than Ratcliffe, former Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz suggested in an interview OANN-TV that leaks to the press about the indictment could be a violation of New York state law. “Somebody criminally leaked the indictment before it was supposed to come out,” he said, adding that New York law provides one to five years in prison for a grand juror, prosecutor, police officer, or another official who discloses “any aspect of an ongoing grand jury proceeding.”

Dershowitz, a high-profile criminal defense attorney, claimed that Bragg appears unwilling to investigate criminal leaks “by one of his people.” The Epoch Times has contacted Bragg’s office for comment on the leaks.

According to N.Y. Penal Law § 215.70, when a grand juror, a public prosecutor, a grand jury stenographer, a grand jury interpreter, a police officer, or a peace officer “intentionally discloses to another the nature or substance of any grand jury testimony, or any decision, result or other matter attending a grand jury proceeding which is required by law to be kept secret, except in the proper discharge of his official duties or upon written order of the court,” they are guilty of unlawful grand jury disclosure. That’s a class E felony under New York state law.

Bragg’s office on Thursday issued a statement saying that the prosecutor’s team had been in contact with Trump’s legal counsel to arrange his surrender and arraignment in Manhattan. Tacopina told The Epoch Times last week that Trump will appear for his arraignment on Tuesday, April 4, while a spokesperson for Trump’s campaign said Sunday that the former president will make a speech that evening at 8:15 p.m. ET.

“All the Tuesday stuff is still very much up in the air, other than the fact that we will very loudly and proudly say, ‘Not guilty,’” Tacopino told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “Hopefully this will be as painless and classy as possible for a situation like this,” Tacopino added, describing the charges as politically motivated.

Tacopina maintained it was unlikely Trump will face a “perp walk,” where an individual who has been charged is walked in front of the media. Last year, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon was subject to a “perp walk” while in handcuffs to face his arraignment in New York state, telling the press: “This is what happens on the last days of a dying regime. They will never shut me up.”

Before the indictment, Bragg’s office was investigating a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump has denied any wrongdoing and denied having an affair with Daniels in the mid-2000s.

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