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Donald Trump’s critics and activist groups condemned his inflammatory rhetoric and a statement by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy as Republicans quickly rallied to defend the former president from possible criminal charges .
The Republican leader released a statement accusing the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office of an “outrageous abuse of power” and said he would ask House committees “to immediately investigate whether federal funds are being used to overturn our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions”. .”
Democratic US Representative Daniel Goldman – adding that Mr McCarthy has ‘no idea’ what evidence prosecutors have collected against the former president – noted the irony of Mr McCarthy endorsing a GOP-led panel on the “militarization” of federal agencies under President Joe Biden while leveraging his own seat of power “to undermine the rule of law for political gain.”
Democratic US Representative Ted Lieu also hit back at Mr McCarthy’s suggestion that New York prosecutors are “subverting democracy” with their criminal investigation.
“Do you at least know what the charges are?” Did you see any of the grand jury evidence? No,” Mr. Rise writing. “You are a cowardly and partisan politician who does not respect the rule of law. In America, no one is above the law, including the person you bend your knee to.
Former Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned Mr Trump’s ‘reckless’ announcement predicting his arrest, which she said was used to ‘keep himself in the news and encourage unrest among his supporters” as he continues to use doomsday rhetoric surrounding his 2024 campaign and possible criminal indictments.
On Saturday morning, Mr Trump announced he would be arrested on Tuesday, blaming “illegal leaks” involving a silent payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign.
Media previously reported that the former president could face possible criminal charges in New York; Mr. Trump has not publicly announced whether he was told by law enforcement about any charges. A spokesperson for Mr. Trump later clarified that there “was no notification” of such charges or plans for arrest.
Mr Trump appears to have been the only person to “leak” the news of his arrest. He made similar statements during a search by federal law enforcement of his property in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, announcing that a “raid” was hiding from law enforcement.
Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti suggested that Mr. Trump’s attorneys have been told by the Manhattan prosecutor that an indictment will likely be issued early next week and that he is expected to surrender to appear in court. “It wouldn’t be an ‘arrest’ but Trump is trying to dramatize this for his supporters,” he said.
The Independent requested comment from the district attorney’s office.
In another all-caps message on his Truth Social account on Saturday – about 45 minutes after he asked his supporters to “send your contribution” to his campaign – Mr Trump called on his supporters to “protest, protest, protest” for “ save America”. He also claimed that the United States was “dragged into World War III” while the Biden administration was “killing our nation.”
Mr Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to a federal charge relating to a $130,000 payment to Daniels in 2016 to keep her quiet about her claim that she had sex with him. Mr Trump. Cohen was then allegedly reimbursed for the money he gave her in payments described by Trump’s company as “legal fees,” which could be grounds for criminal tampering with business records. Cohen appeared before a grand jury in New York this week for the second time.
“Regardless of the Grand Jury’s decision, its review of this case makes it clear: No one is above the law, not even a former President of the United States,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“He cannot hide his violations of the law, his disrespect for our elections and his incitement to violence,” she added. “Rightly, our legal system will decide how to hold him accountable.”
A statement from senior counsel Brad Woodhouse of the Congressional Integrity Project said McCarthy uses his role as Speaker of the House to “stop justice from happening, threatening and intimidating those investigating Trump’s alleged wrongdoings with their own investigations.
“Kevin McCarthy gave up his presidency to Trump, election deniers, white nationalist sympathizers and the MAGA cult and he lost the moral height to lead,” he added.
Former Republican U.S. Representative Adam Kinzinger, one of two GOP members of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, fueled by Mr. Trump’s baseless narrative that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, suggested Mr McCarthy’s apparent hypocrisy as he continues to support investigations into the Biden family despite believing that “legitimate crimes [are] it’s not fair game if it’s his people.
Another former United States Republican, David Jolly called Mr McCarthy’s ‘dangerous and ignorant’ statement and ‘his most aggressive MAGA posture yet’.
Kurt Bardella, former spokesman for the Republican House Oversight Committee, said Mr. McCarthy’s “directive to militarize congressional oversight and use it to obstruct justice is a chilling development that should not be taken lightly.”
‘No one is above the law’: Critics condemn Trump’s ‘reckless’ statement as he stokes unrest over indictment
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