America First Legal Details Alvin Bragg’s Unconstitutional Ex Post Facto Prosecution of President Donald J. Trump

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, America First Legal (AFL) released an educational document detailing yet another error in Alvin Bragg’s Manhattan District Attorney’s Office prosecution of President Trump in New York. This newest document, describing the unconstitutional ex post facto prosecution of President Trump, is the latest in a series of documents published by AFL revealing the numerous errors in Bragg’s politically motivated prosecution.

Article 1, Section 10 of the United States Constitution prohibits States from passing ex post facto laws–meaning laws that would impose criminal liability retroactively. The Supreme Court’s decision in Stogner v. California explains that authorizations of criminal prosecutions otherwise barred due to the passage of time are per se unconstitutional. Naturally, this protection against ex post facto laws should include protection against prosecution based on a purported extension of the statute of limitations by virtue of a unilateral executive order. 

However, President Trump was indicted on March 30, 2023—more than six years after the earliest charge in the indictment, dated February 14, 2017, and exceeding the five-year statute of limitations. However, Judge Merchan determined that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo extended the time limit to file charges in all criminal cases when courts were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, thereby extending the prosecution deadline by one year and 47 days in this case.

Governor Cuomo extended the statute of limitations under a COVID-era executive order, not through legislative action. Had this order been passed by the legislature instead of through executive order, it would be a permissible toll of the statute of limitations.

Additionally, Governor Cuomo’s order, even assuming it validly applied, was a sort of enforcement discretion; however, to say that the State could use enforcement discretion to stall future enforcement without a legislative pronouncement is tantamount to an ex post facto violation as applied to the facts behind the Bragg indictment.

Alvin Bragg’s indictment of President Trump in New York contains crimes that date back more than five years, in some cases longer than the crimes’ statutes of limitations. Such an ex post facto prosecution is unconstitutional and the latest in a series of errors with Bragg’s prosecution—including the implications of the Supreme Court’s recent decision relating to Presidential immunity in Trump v. United States

Read the one-pager here.

Follow us on social media for the latest updates on America First Legal’s fight to protect your constitutional rights!

X, Facebook, GETTR, Instagram, Truth Social

For press inquiries, please contact [email protected]

Photo Credits: Adobe Stock Images / Christian.

Stay Informed

Get updates about the legal battles we are waging across the country. To Get Critical Updates By Text: Text Join to 50608.

    I would like to Subscribe!