Republican lawmakers on Saturday lashed out amid reports that an indictment of former President Donald Trump could be coming next week, with representatives and senators decrying what they see as a politically motivated attack on the former president and 2024 candidate.
Fox News was one of a number of outlets this week to report that the Manhattan’s district attorney has requested a meeting with law enforcement ahead of a possible indictment.
According to a court source, the meeting was requested Thursday and is to “discuss logistics for some time next week, which would mean that they are anticipating an indictment next week.”
The potential indictment stems from the lengthy investigation surrounding Trump’s alleged payment of “hush money” to porn actress Stormy Daniels. Toward the end of the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump’s then-lawyer Michael Cohen sent $130,000 to Daniels to prevent her from disclosing a 2006 affair with Trump. Trump, who denies the affair, reimbursed Cohen through installments.
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Reached for comment Friday, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office would not “confirm or comment” on the impending indictment.
The office, led by DA Alvin Bragg, has been investigating the hush money payment — which allegedly took place in 2016 — for the past five years.
Trump, who is running for president again in 2024, said on Saturday on Truth Social that illegal leaks indicate he will be “arrested on Tuesday.”
The apparently looming indictment sparked fury from Republicans, who see a politically motivated prosecution. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he has directed House committees to investigate “if federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions.”
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“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,” McCarthy tweeted.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., dismissed the indictment as “based on an untested, tortured legal theory.”
“This is an absurd abuse of the criminal process in our politics,” he said. “It must be seen for the partisan pathetic ploy it is.”
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY, called any such move “unAmerican” and said that the “radical Left has reached a dangerous new low of Third World countries.”
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“Knowing they cannot beat President Trump at the ballot box, the Radical Left will now follow the lead of Socialist dictators and reportedly arrest President Trump, the leading Republican candidate for President of the United States,” she said. “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.”
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Other Republican lawmakers took the opportunity to criticize Bragg himself. Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., said Bragg “allows violent criminals to walk the streets, yet abuses the rule of law & powers of his office to target political opponents in partisan witchhunts. He’s unfit for office.”
Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, said that a potential indictment must be treated as “a politically motivated prosecution based on a strained, convoluted legal theory.”
“It makes clear the danger of a politicized ‘justice’ system that will be (is being) weaponized against ALL Americans,” he said.
In the upper chamber, Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Mo., said the potential indictment is “some Third World Banana Republic lunacy and a very, very dangerous road to go down.”
“If this same behavior occurred in an authoritarian state, our own U.S. State Department would condemn it. In liberal New York, evidently it’s politics as usual,” he said.
Meanwhile, Sen. J.D. Vance, R-Ohio, said he had been asked whether he would rescind an endorsement of Trump if he was indicted.
“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,” he said.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., meanwhile, took aim at Democrats in general, claiming that it was part of a trend for the party.
“The Democrats used the FBI against parents, they used the FBI against Catholics, they used Big Tech against vaccine critics & anyone who questioned them. Now they want to arrest Trump, their leading political opponent,” he said. “They are the banana republic party.”