CNN legal analyst Elie Honig on Tuesday appeared to shut down Sunny Hostin's claim that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has a slam-dunk criminal case against former President Donald Trump.
What did Hostin claim?
Reacting to the potential forthcoming indictment of Trump on "The View" Monday, Hostin predicted Trump will be convicted and imprisoned because paper-trail cases are "easy" to prove.
"I think he will be imprisoned this time. I’ve been saying it for two years, but I really believe — he's got four cases in four different jurisdictions," Hostin said. "And a lot of them are paper-trail cases. Do you know how easy paper-trail cases are to prove?"
"It's the easiest to prove," Hostin added of the case potentially being brought by Bragg. "I think the goal is to never have this man be in a position of power again — not even [as] a crossing guard."
But what did Honig say?
On "CNN This Morning," anchor Don Lemon invoked Hostin's comments, though not citing her specifically, claiming "paper-trail crimes are very easy to prove," before asking Honig about the legal bar that Bragg must clear to prove Trump's guilt.
But Honig, also not citing Hostin specifically, pushed back about the alleged lack of difficulty with the case.
"I disagree with that. I've heard that statement from, I think, a mutual friend of ours," he said, referring to Hostin.
"It's easy to prove the paper crime if the person's name is on the paper. Here, the paper trail can show us exactly how this payment was made, exactly how Michael Cohen was reimbursed, and exactly how they booked it. But I would be shocked if the paperwork showed ... a direct link to Donald Trump," he explained.
The "smoking gun" in a case like this, according to Honig, is any communication in which Trump specifically directs the payment to be made and its record falsified.
"But short of that," he added, "just saying it's a paper case, there's a paper trail, doesn't necessarily get you to the core issue of the defendant or the potential defendant's criminal liability."
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