My understanding is that one of the most legally controversial parts of DA Bragg's indictment of former President Trump is the decision to elevate the charges of falsifying business records — ordinarily a misdemeanor under New York state law — to the felony charges (under New York state law) of doing so with an “intent to defraud [that] includes an intent to commit another crime,” where in this case the "[other] crimes" in question are federal laws. There is arguably some legal ambiguity whether federal laws are included in the "other crimes" portion of the relevant New York state law.
Could DA Bragg have only charged Trump with 34 misdemeanor counts, without elevating the charges to felonies? I believe that had he done so, he would not have needed to empanel a grand jury, since misdemeanor-only charges do not require a grand jury vote to indict. I also understand that such an action may have been politically awkward for Bragg, since he campaigned on a promise not to prosecute misdemeanor-only offenses. But would anything else stop him from doing so?
Am I correct that if Trump's defense team argues that the law that elevates the misdemeanor charges to felony charges does not apply in this case, because the elevation option does not include federal laws, then since this is a matter of law and not a matter of fact, Judge Mercan (rather than the jury) will decide whether or not to dismiss the felony charges? Does Judge Mercan have the option of dismissing the felony enhancement but allowing the misdemeanor charges to proceed, or would Mercan have to dismiss all charges against Trump?
If Trump is brought to trial, then would it be possible for a jury to return a verdict that Trump was guilty of the misdemeanor offenses of falsifying business records but innocent of doing so with an intent to commit another crime? If so, then could Trump still be found guilty of the misdemeanors, or would he be fully acquitted, since the jury ruled that he was not guilty of the exact charges that DA Bragg filed?