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Sun, 10.21.1973

Alvin Bragg, Lawyer and Prosecutor born

Alvin Bragg

*Alvin Bragg was born on this date in 1973. He is a Black politician and lawyer.

Alvin Leonard Bragg Jr. is from Harlem, New York. He graduated from the Trinity School and Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in government in 1995. Bragg earned his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School, where Bragg was an editor of the Harvard Civil Rights–Civil Liberties Law Review. Bragg clerked for federal district judge Robert P. Patterson Jr. before he joined a law firm as an associate. There his work focused on white-collar fraud and civil rights issues.

In 2003, he joined the office of the Attorney General of New York, becoming the chief of litigation and investigations for the New York City Council. That same year, Bragg married Jamila Marie Ponton. They have two children. Bragg was a former Sunday School teacher at the Abyssinian Baptist Church. He is a board of directors member for the Legal Aid Society. He has represented the families of Ramarley Graham and Eric Garner in civil litigation against New York City.

In 2009, Bragg left the city council to serve as assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. In 2017, Bragg became the Chief Deputy Attorney General of New York. He ran the criminal justice and social justice divisions, overseeing lawsuits brought by the state against the Donald J. Trump Foundation, Harvey Weinstein, and the addition of a citizenship question on the 2020 United States Census. He left the position in 2018 and became a professor at the New York Law School, where he was co-director of the Racial Justice Project.

In June 2019, Bragg started his candidacy for the 2021 Democratic Party nomination for New York County District Attorney. On November 2, 2021, he won the general election, becoming the first black to be elected New York County District Attorney. On January 4, 2022, after three days in office, he announced that his office would no longer prosecute low-level offenses such as misdemeanors unless accompanied by a felony charge. He also decided to seek lesser charges for burglaries and store robberies where the offender "displays a dangerous instrument but does not create a genuine risk of physical harm." On January 20, Bragg disputed what he described as a "legalistic" interpretation of his prosecution policy memo and indicated that he supported a zero-tolerance policy for violent crimes.

On February 23, 2022, the lead prosecutors in the New York County District Attorney's investigation into Donald Trump and his businesses resigned abruptly after Bragg "indicated to them that he had doubts about moving forward with a case against Mr. Trump." On September 6, 2022, The Washington Post reported that Steve Bannon would be indicted on September 8 by Bragg's prosecutors on the same charges of fraud that he was federally pardoned for by then-President Trump in 2020. On September 8, Bannon was charged with "defrauding Americans who wanted to contribute to the construction of a southern border wall, resurrecting a threat that Mr. Bannon seemed to have escaped with a 2021 presidential pardon", and he pleaded not guilty.

On November 21, 2022, The New York Times reported that the district attorney's office "has moved to jump-start its criminal investigation" into Trump's reported "hush-money payment to a porn star who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump." Bragg confirmed in January 2023 that the probe was ongoing. On January 30, the office presented evidence to a grand jury regarding Trump's role in the payment.

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