CNN’s Zakaria Questions Motives Behind NY Indictment Against Trump

CNN host Fareed Zakaria expressed doubts about the hush-money case brought against former President Donald Trump in New York suggesting it likely would not have been pursued if the defendant were someone else. Zakaria made the comments on his Sunday morning show “GPS” which airs on CNN.

Zakaria noted that Republicans are rallying behind Trump as he faces multiple prosecutions while seeking another term in the White House. “Whatever opposition he faced in the primaries has largely melted away” he said. “And the trials against him keep him in the spotlight infuriate his base who sees him as a martyr and even may serve to make him the object of some sympathy among people in general who believed that his prosecutors are politically motivated.”

“This happens to be true in my opinion” Zakaria continued. “I doubt the New York indictment would have been brought against a defendant whose name was not Donald Trump. A majority of Americans are skeptical that Trump will be able to get a fair trial according to a CNN poll.”

The CNN poll conducted by SSRS in late April found that only 13% of nationwide respondents believed Trump was being treated the same as other criminal defendants. The case brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg accuses Trump of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to allegedly cover up payments including to adult film actress Stormy Daniels as part of a “catch-and-kill” scheme to influence the 2016 election.

Trump has pleaded not guilty and decried the case as a “political persecution.” He faces three other criminal matters on the state and federal levels as he runs for re-election maintaining his innocence throughout. Some experts have questioned the legal theory used to elevate misdemeanor charges to felonies in Bragg’s case. CNN legal analyst Elie Honig recently said there would be “no chance of a conviction” if the case had been brought in a jurisdiction with evenly split support for Trump and President Joe Biden.

Zakaria’s comments underscore the growing perception among some observers that the prosecutions against Trump are politically motivated and not based on the merits of the cases. As the legal battles unfold Trump’s supporters appear to be rallying behind him seeing the former president as a victim of partisan targeting by prosecutors.

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