Posted by on March 18, 2023 1:46 pm
Categories: News Washington Examiner

Republicans decry possible Trump indictment as ‘abuse of power’

FILE – House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., walks to the chamber for final votes as the House wraps up its work for the week, at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. Republicans face contentious leadership battles inside their new House majority and at the Republican National Committee. But former President Donald Trump will be central in virtually every conversation as the GOP enters what will likely be a nasty and crowded presidential primary that begins in earnest this spring. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Republicans decry possible Trump indictment as ‘abuse of power’

Cami Mondeaux March 18, 01:38 PMMarch 18, 01:44 PM Video Embed

Republican lawmakers are lashing out against the Manhattan district attorney’s office after it was reported a grand jury was preparing to indict former President Donald Trump sometime next week.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is reportedly preparing to indict Trump on several charges related to an investigation into hush-money payments the then-presidential candidate made to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016. GOP lawmakers have decried the move, denouncing it as being a political attack ahead of a crucial election cycle.


“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-CA) said in a tweet on Saturday. “I’m directing relevant committees to immediately investigate if federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions.”

McCarthy didn’t clarify which committees he would task with investigating the matter. However, the investigation would follow several other inquiries into the so-called “weaponization” of government agencies that conservatives say are used against them.

The speaker’s statement comes just hours after Trump posted on his Truth Social account that he expects to be arrested on “Tuesday of next week” and urged his supporters to protest and “take our nation back.” A spokesperson for the former president clarified his post in a later statement, noting Trump does not have any direct knowledge of the timing of a possible arrest.

Other Republicans chimed in after Trump’s post, accusing Democrats of acting like “self-centered communists” for seeking to indict the former president on a “fake outdated misdemeanor charge.”

“This is what they do in communist countries to destroy their political opponents! Republicans in Congress MUST subpoena these communists and END this!” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) said in a tweet. “These idiots are sealing their own fate in 2024 because the silent majority has two feelings right now about the current regime. Fear and anger. That is the most powerful combination when election time comes. And the Democrats are driving that force with their own corrupt actions.”

Other Trump allies emphasized that an indictment against Trump would only make his reelection bid stronger.

“I’ve been asked by multiple reporters if an indictment would lead me to rescind my endorsement of Donald Trump,” said Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH), who has already endorsed Trump for the GOP nomination. “The answer is: hell no. A politically motivated prosecution makes the argument for Trump stronger. We simply don’t have a real country if justice depends on politics.”

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) echoed similar sentiments, calling the move a “dangerous” ploy by Democrats to defeat the “leading Republican candidate for president.”

“This is just a continuation of the disgraceful and unconstitutional pattern going back to the illegal Russian collusion hoax to attempt to silence and suppress the will of the voters who support President Trump and the America First Movement,” the New York lawmaker said in a statement. “What these corrupt Leftist prosecutors like Alvin Bragg and their Socialist allies fail to understand is that America First Patriots have never been so energized to exercise their constitutional rights to peacefully organize and VOTE at the ballot box to save our great republic.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is mulling a challenge to Trump’s presidential bid, also weighed in on the indictment.

“Like many Americans, I was taken aback,” Pence told Breitbart News Saturday. “You have literally a Democratic Party that’s literally dismantled the criminal justice system in that city, undercut the NYPD, and this is what the Manhattan DA says is their top priority? It reeks of the kind of political prosecution that we endured back in the days of the Russia hoax and the whole impeachment over a phone call.”

Reports of a looming indictment emerged after former Trump attorney Michael Cohen testified before the Manhattan grand jury multiple times last week, and Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, met with prosecutors on Wednesday.

Cohen was previously convicted in 2018 after pleading guilty to paying two women who accused Trump of sexual affairs to be silent, which included Daniels. As part of the scheme, Cohen paid Daniels $130,000 and was later reimbursed by the Trump Organization.


Manhattan prosecutors later opened an investigation into whether Trump falsified business records to list the reimbursement as a legal expense. Such a crime is a misdemeanor in New York but could be enhanced to a felony if Bragg’s office argues the fraud was intended to conceal a second crime.

At the time of Cohen’s trial, federal prosecutors did not press charges against Trump due to guidance from the Justice Department that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime. However, prosecutors revived discussions about possible charges shortly before Trump left office in 2021.

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