By Hudson Crozier
You’ve probably heard what happened. On Saturday, former President Donald Trump claimed that the Soros-funded Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg would have him arrested this Tuesday for alleged hush money payments to a porn star in 2016. While Bragg’s office has refused to comment, prosecutors reportedly invited Trump to testify in front of the grand jury investigating the case, which usually means an indictment is soon to follow. New York law enforcement officials are already taking security precautions in case of an indictment.
The case: In 2016, former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen paid porn actress Stormy Daniels $130,000 not to publish a story claiming Trump had an affair with her, and Trump later reimbursed Cohen. Cohen pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations for the deal in 2018, claiming that Trump personally ordered the payment. Now the Democratic Manhattan D.A. is trying to prove that Trump, too, violated state election law. Daniels previously lost a defamation suit against Trump related to the story. Even liberal outlets acknowledge this unprecedented case is very weak, hard to prove, and flawed.
A legal onslaught: New York prosecutors already won a conviction against Trump’s business for tax fraud in December and have sued him for alleged bank fraud. Another Democratic D.A. in Georgia will decide whether to charge Trump for allegedly trying to overturn the 2020 election results. Additionally, the Biden administration’s special counsel is investigating Trump’s handling of classified documents as president. Nevertheless, Trump recently said he would “absolutely” continue his run for reelection if criminally charged, adding that it would “probably” boost his popularity.
What a possible indictment means for 2024: Voters who fear the politicization of the justice system are carefully watching the reactions of major GOP figures, especially other 2024 candidates. Former Vice President Mike Pence, GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), and lawmakers denounced the prosecution as politically motivated, but some rejected Trump’s calls for protests. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said this morning that the D.A. was “pursuing a political agenda and weaponizing the office.”