A leading arbiter of political news is taking heat for admitting Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg indeed downgrades the majority of felony charges brought by his office while framing his actions as “common” among New York prosecutors.
Politifact, a fact-checking organization, responded to a claim by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis that Bragg has downgraded 52 percent of felony charges since taking office in 2021. The statement was amended by PolitiFact to say that downgrading felony charges is common among Bragg’s peer prosecutors.
Yes, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has downgraded felonies as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said, but it’s a common practice among peer counties. https://t.co/To8hRQb0iV
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) April 11, 2023
The governor’s press secretary Bryan Griffin quickly responded, kicking off a series of takedowns from supporters.
— Bryan Griffin (@BryanDGriffin) April 11, 2023
"We regret to inform you that Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida is correct." https://t.co/jXx3ekBiop
— Joe Cunningham (@JoePCunningham) April 11, 2023
Most of our public safety problems in Minnesota and nationally would be solved by judges and prosecutors enforcing sentences pursuant to state law.
— Andrew Wagner (@andrewwagner) April 11, 2023
Mark Hemingway, senior writer for RealClearInvestigations, tweeted, “PolitiFact’s rulings start to make sense when you realize it is a political disinformation organization for Democrats.” Joe Concha, Fox News contributor, added, “The ‘yeah-but everybody’s-doing-it’ fact-check…”
Jill Terreri Ramos, writing for PolitiFact, noted that three of New York’s boroughs saw similar rates of downgrading felonies. Bragg’s own website data show that 52 percent of felony charges were reduced to misdemeanors in 2022 and 54 percent have been so far in 2024.
DeSantis has joined the chorus of Republicans coming to President Donald Trump’s defense since the Manhattan DA upgraded misdemeanor charges against Trump to felonies. When asked in March about the then-forthcoming case, the Florida governor said, “The Manhattan district attorney is a Soros-funded prosecutor, and so he, like other Soros-funded prosecutors, they weaponize their office to impose a political agenda on society at the expense of the rule of law and public safety.”
President Trump on Tuesday detailed his experience being arraigned in Manhattan District Court, saying staff were “crying” as he entered the building and apologizing for the arrest. The case centers on whether the former president falsified business records to hide a payment of $130,000 to a former adult film star to settle rumors of an affair just days before the 2016 presidential election. Trump has pleaded not guilty to 34 felony charges.