GOP lawmakers rush to Trump’s defense on home stretch of Manhattan DA’s probe
Outraged Republicans rushed to former President Donald Trump’s defense over weekend revelations that he might soon be arrested in connection with the Manhattan district attorney’s probe.
Top GOP pols dismissed DA Alvin Bragg’s investigation into the hush-money payment from Trump to porn star Stormy Daniels, echoing the former president’s accusation that the case is a “witch hunt.”
”Here we go again — an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues political vengeance against President Trump,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tweeted.
He also announced a House probe into whether “federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions.”
The firestorm started when Trump on Saturday declared that he expected to be arrested in New York City this Tuesday.
“The far & away leading Republican candidate & former president of the United States of America will be arrested on Tuesday of next week,” he wrote on his Truth Social platform. “Protest, take our nation back!”
A spokesman for his 2024 presidential campaign had recently called the probe a “witch hunt.”
Bragg’s office is believed to be nearing the end of its four-year probe into Trump’s payment to Daniels to keep her quiet about a tryst, an allegation Trump has denied. But it’s not clear whether a grand jury is ready to indict him, and sources with direct knowledge of the case say Trump has not been told to get ready for an arrest.
Dems were quick to denounce Trump’s Saturday statement, noting that it echoed his 2020 calls for his supporters to fight the presidential election results.
“The former president’s announcement this morning is reckless: doing so to keep himself in the news & to foment unrest among his supporters,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tweeted Saturday.
“He cannot hide from his violations of the law, disrespect for our elections and incitements to violence,” the former House speaker added. “Rightfully, our legal system will decide how to hold him accountable.”
The White House is not preparing for unrest in the event Trump is arrested, Defense Department spokesman John Kirby said Sunday.
“I’m not aware of any indications that we’re preparing for that kind of activity specifically with respect to those comments,” he told “Fox News Sunday.”
“But obviously we work hand in glove with local and state authorities all around the country,” he added. “And we’ll continue to watch this as best we can.”
Even GOP pols at odds with Trump took his side regarding the DA’s probe.
“I’m taken aback at the idea of indicting a former president of the United States, at a time when there’s a crime wave in New York City,” former Vice President Mike Pence told ABC’s “This Week.”
“The fact that the Manhattan DA thinks that indicting President Trump is his top priority … just tells you everything you need to know about the radical left in this country,” added Pence, who’s believed to be readying a run for the Republican presidential nomination himself.
Still, numerous conservative lawmakers and commentators thought the DA’s probe would help Trump politically.
“The prosecutor in New York has done more to help Donald Trump get elected president than any single person in America today,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Saturday.