Trump attorney spars with ABC host over bias

Will Scharf, an attorney for former President Donald Trump, insisted Sunday that the Biden administration was firmly behind Trump’s prosecution even as ABC’s George Stephanopoulos pushed back on that idea.

Speaking on “This Week,” Scharf responded to Stephanopoulos saying, “Of course, the attorney general of Manhattan has nothing to do with the Department of Justice,” by arguing in response: “I vehemently disagree that the district attorney in New York was not politically motivated here, and I vehemently disagree that President Biden and his political allies aren’t up to their necks in this prosecution.”

Stephanopoulos answered: “There’s no evidence here of that sir. … I’m not going to let you continue to say that — there’s zero evidence of that.”

After some further jousting over the issue, the ABC host tried to steer Scharf back to a question he had asked. “This has nothing to do with President Biden,” he said. “Do you want to answer the question about the sentencing process or not?”

“I completely disagree that this has nothing to do with President Biden,” Scharf said. “With respect to sentencing, as I said before, we’re going to vigorously challenge this case on appeal. I don’t think President Trump is going to end up being subject to any sentence whatsoever.”

In discussing the appeals process, Scharf made it clear that Trump’s appeal of his conviction of 34 felony charges would focus on two areas: Justice Juan Merchan’s decision not to recuse himself amid appearances of bias, and Merchan’s instructions to the jury.

Stephanpoulos pointed out that Scharf himself had praised the jury instructions before the deliberations took place.

“I think: Hope for the best, plan for the worst, George. But I think when you look at the totality of the circumstances in this case,” Scharf responded, “this is a prosecution that should have never been brought. This was a case tried in front of a judge that clearly should have recused. I think we have a lot of fair complaints with the way this trial was conducted and I think ultimately, President Trump will be vindicated on appeal.”

In discussing the effectiveness of the defense team’s legal strategies, Scharf also said it “would have been dangerous” for Trump to testify on his behalf, but that he would have made an effective witness if he had testified.

On Thursday, Scharf sharply criticized the verdict right after it came down.

“This is a tragic day in the history of the American Republic,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “President Trump’s conviction proves one thing and one thing only: that Joe Biden and his allies have weaponized our legal system to persecute their principal political opponent. We will speedily appeal, and we will win on appeal because this case is meritless, baseless, and should have never seen the inside of an American courtroom.”

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