A video has surfaced online showing colleagues of Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney who charged President Donald Trump in New York court on Tuesday, boasting about ‘dismantling the criminal legal system’ by refusing to prosecute cases and replacing prosecutors with public defenders.
The comments were made at a panel discussion hosted by Harvard Law School in late October.
Bragg was scheduled to appear on the same panel, but was reportedly unable to attend due to the start of his case involving Trump.
NEW YORK — In a recently surfaced video featuring a panel of “progressive prosecutors” speaking at Harvard Law School, at which Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg was scheduled to speak late last year, Bragg’s colleagues are seen and heard on-record boasting about their efforts to dismantle the American legal system and refusing to prosecute crimes.
Bragg was scheduled to participate on the panel, but was reportedly unable to attend because, “he had what he thought was an important case starting [on the day of the panel] in Manhattan having to do with the Trump Organization,” the panel moderator says in the beginning of the video hosted by Harvard Law School.
While Bragg may have been absent, his colleagues made no efforts to hide their “progressive” agendas. State’s Attorney Sarah George of Crittenden County, Vermont, one of Bragg’s “progressive prosecutor” colleagues, spoke at length about her efforts to “dismantle the criminal legal system.”
“I actually went to law school to become a public defender. So, I went to law school because I wanted to dismantle the criminal legal system and thought that that’s the best way to do it. I decided that if I wanted to really dismantle the system in a way that provided true public safety for my community, I needed to become a prosecutor,” George told the classroom full of law students at Harvard. “(After becoming a State’s Attorney) I was able to get rid of the prosecutors in that office that I felt were harming our community, and replace them with public defenders, that I knew I wouldn’t have to convince them why we were going to do things differently.”
According to local media reports from earlier this year, George dismissed two murder charges and two attempted murder charges dating back to 2019, claiming she would be unable to get a conviction. When the Vermont Attorney General’s Office decided to pick up the charges and pursue the case, George attempted to have the state prosecutor’s car towed from the courthouse parking garage during the murder trial. Ultimately, George’s towing efforts were unsuccessful, but the Vermont AG’s Office was successful in getting a conviction in the case she refused to prosecute.
Also on the panel was Bragg’s New York City Counterpart, the Brooklyn district attorney, Eric Gonzalez. Eric Gonzalez oversees one of the largest prosecution offices in the country with more than 550 prosecutors in the New York Burrough of Brooklyn.
“One of the things that I’ve done is changed the culture of that district attorney’s office,” Eric Gonzalez said. “For example, in 2018 I announced that my office, as a matter of practice, rescind all of the letters that we sent to the parole board over the last 40 or 50 years, automatically saying we oppose parole and saying that those [are] no longer the position of the office.”
“The practice had always been to ask for the maximum period [of parole],” Eric Gonzalez said. “The practice became to ask for the minimum unless there was a reason to do otherwise. Same thing for bail. It was the practice of our office to ask for bail on virtually every case, and I changed the practice to say that if you are going to ask for bail you need to get a supervisor’s permission.”
Eric Gonzalez also boasted about suing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over the practice of enforcing federal immigration law following his criminal proceedings.
In Bragg’s absence, Texas District Attorney Mark Gonzalez was also one of the panel’s leaders.
Mark Gonzalez is currently in the middle of a lawsuit seeking to remove him from office. The lawsuit was filed by Colby Wiltse, the Texas State Director for Citizens Defending Freedom.
According to Wiltse’s complaint, Mark Gonzalez should be removed from office due to gross incompetency, negligence, official misconduct, failure to give bond, and more. According to the complaint, Mark Gonzalez is rarely in the office and often unable to be reached remotely. Key card records for county employees over the last year indicate that Gonzalez typically only reported to work about eight days per month on average.
Furthermore, in Nueces County where Mark Gonzalez presides, of more than 10,000 criminal cases that were reported in 2021, roughly one out of four arrests resulted in a disposition through the court system. Nueces County was also the only county in Texas where cases dismissed by the prosecutor before charges were filed outnumbered cases that were disposed of by the court system.
The case against Gonzalez was found to have merit just last week and ordered to proceed to a jury trial by a Texas judge.
“Besides describing themselves as so called progressive prosecutors, the one thing that all of these district and state attorneys have in common is they seek to reimagine to role of the district attorney to the point where they underm
ine duly enacted laws passed by their respective state legislatures. This not only undermines the entire criminal justice system and places the progressivism above public safety, but also the separation of powers, and often the Constitutional oath of office required by public officials,” said Jonathan Hullihan, deputy general counsel for Citizens Defending Freedom. “Mr. Bragg is no different, with the one exception being this politically motivated circus related to pursuing political opponents, like his case against former President Donald Trump.”
During Bragg’s tenure as district attorney, felony cases resulting in conviction have dropped from 68 percent to 51 percent, while misdemeanor cases resulting in convictions have dropped from 53 percent to 28 percent. Both felony and misdemeanor convictions resulting in prison sentences have also dropped dramatically.
Even New York City Mayor Eric Adams has found himself at odds with Bragg’s soft-on-crime approach.
Our criminal justice system is insane,” Adams said in August. “It is dangerous, it is harmful and it’s destroying the fabric of our city. Time and time again, our police officers make an arrest, and then the person who is arrested for assault, felonious assaults, robberies and gun possessions, they’re finding themselves back on the street within days– if not hours — after the arrest.”
In addition to the attorneys who appeared on the panel, Fair and Just Prosecution is also known for celebrating their association with disgraced former prosecutor, Andrew Warren, who was recently removed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for reportedly failing to enforce Florida laws.
“The bottom line is that all of these so-called ‘progressive prosecutors” are failing in their most basic duty for the proper administration of justice, while making America a much more dangerous place to live,” said Hullihan.
The panel was hosted by Harvard Law School and sponsored by the Bernard Koteen Office of Public Interest Advising, and Fair and Just Prosecution. Fair and Just Prosecution is a project by the Tides Center, which has received millions of dollars in funding from George Soros.
Those interested in supporting Citizens Defending Freedom and their efforts to hold elected officials accountable can donate by visiting citizensdefendingfreedom.com.
About Citizens Defending Freedom:
Founded in 2021, Citizens Defending Freedom is a non-profit organization that strategically employs county-level chapters across America to help citizens defend their faith and freedom, all while fighting for transparency in local government. Currently, Citizens Defending Freedom has official chapters in Florida, Georgia, and Texas. The group is rapidly expanding their footprint, and expects to grow into one of America’s largest political nonprofits. Click here to learn more about Citizens Defending Freedom.
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