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Report: Trump's NYC Terror Suspect Remark Could Be Problem for Prosecutors

Image: Report: Trump's NYC Terror Suspect Remark Could Be Problem for Prosecutors
(Evan Vucci/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 02 November 2017 07:52 AM

A tweet by President Donald Trump could prove troublesome for prosecutors in a trial of the man charged with killing eight people and injuring others in a New York City terror attack, The New York Times is reporting.

Without mentioning suspect Sayfullo Saipov by name, Trump posted on Twitter late Wednesday night:

According to The Times, presidents are routinely urged not to publicly comment on pending criminal cases. If they do, their comments can be used by defense attorneys who can claim their clients did not get a fair trial — particularly when a president calls for a sentence before any evidence is presented, the newspaper added.

This week, Army Judge Col. Jeffery Nance said he would consider similar comments by Trump as evidence in favor of a lighter sentence for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, The Times said.

Bergdahl had pleaded guilty to desertion and endangering troops by leaving his post in Afghanistan.

During the presidential campaign, Trump had called Bergdahl a "dirty rotten traitor" who should be executed. But since the comments were made before he was elected, they did not impact the case, the newspaper reported.

However, just last month, Trump was asked again about the case by reporters and said: "I can't comment on Bowe Bergdahl. But I think people have heard my comments in the past."

Nance said he was not influenced by the remarks, but added: "I will consider the president's comments as mitigation evidence as I arrive at an appropriate sentence."

Meanwhile, USA Today has reported that by calling the suspect of the deadly car crash in Charlottesville, Virginia "a murderer," Trump may have prejudiced the case against the man.

Alex James Fields allegedly slammed his car into demonstrators who were countering a white nationalist protest in August. As a result, a 32-year-old woman was killed.

But Trump is not the only president who has publicly commented about pending cases, The Times reported.

President Richard Nixon had declared Charles Manson "was guilty, directly or indirectly of eight murders without reason" during the middle of Manson's trial in 1970.

As a result, Manson's' lawyers asked for a mistrial, but the judge allowed the case to continue. At one point during the proceedings, Manson held up a newspaper in court with the headline: "Manson Guilty, Nixon Declares."

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A tweet by President Donald Trump could prove troublesome for prosecutors in a trial of the man charged with killing eight people and injuring others in a New York City terror attack, The New York Times is reporting.
trump, manhattan, terror, suspect, prosecutors
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2017-52-02
Thursday, 02 November 2017 07:52 AM
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