Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has warned that an indictment of former President Donald Trump by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg would “blow up our country.”
Graham made the comments in an interview with “Fox & Friends” on March 21 in which he also condemned Bragg’s probe into Trump’s 2016 payment to adult entertainment actress Stormy Daniels.
Trump announced over the weekend that he believes he will soon be arrested over the $130,000 payment from his former personal attorney Michael Cohen to Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, during his 2016 campaign.
“You’ve had the prosecutor before Bragg, Mr. [Cyrus] Vance, look at the case and pass on it. You had the U.S. attorney in New York say ‘I’m not going to do it federally,’” Graham said.
Bragg has also been criticized over his decision last year not to charge Trump, who is running for president in 2024, in connection with alleged financial crimes.
Graham said that there was an “intervening cause other than Trump running” in 2024, referring to why he believes Bragg may now decide to bring charges against Trump.
Bragg ‘Yielding to Political Pressure’
“One of the guys in the DA’s office wrote a book very critical of Vance. ‘You should have prosecuted Trump, you let him off.’ And Bragg feels that pressure,” Graham said, before taking aim at Bragg himself, whose 2021 district attorney campaign received a $1 million donation from billionaire Democratic Party donor George Soros via a political action committee, according to public filings.
“[Bragg is] a George Soros-backed prosecutor. He can’t take the heat. So the guy’s yielding to the political pressure generated by the former prosecutor. And this is a case without merit, in my view,” Graham added. “Donald Trump will be the only person in the history of New York prosecuted under this theory.”
The Epoch Times has contacted a spokesperson for Bragg for comment.
An indictment against Trump would make history as the first-ever indictment of a former U.S. president.
Trump said in a statement on Truth Social on March 18 that he expects to be indicted, citing an alleged leak from the Manhattan DA’s office, and called on his supporters to protest and “take our nation back!”
The former president insisted that no crime has been proven and that the possible indictment in the case would be “based on an old & fully debunked (by numerous other prosecutors!) fairy tale.”
No charges against Trump have been announced. A Trump lawyer, Susan Necheles, told The Associated Press that Trump’s post on Truth Social was “based on the media reports,” and another Trump spokesperson said there had been “no notification” from Bragg’s office.
Trump Takes Aim at Cohen
The probe into Trump centers on his company’s classification of the $130,000 reimbursement to Cohen, which was allegedly used to make a “hush money” payment to Daniels, who claims to have had an affair with Trump. Trump denies the affair.
Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to charges of tax evasion, making false statements to a federally insured bank, and campaign finance violations in connection with the payment to Daniels. At the time of Cohen’s trial, federal prosecutors declined to press charges against Trump.
However, Cohen testified to the Manhattan grand jury in relation to the Trump probe, which seems to be reaching its end, on March 15, and is considered a key witness in the case.
Cohen claims that he was directed by the former president to arrange the payment to Daniels to buy her silence over the alleged affair. The money, according to Cohen, was allegedly paid using campaign funds, which would be a violation of campaign finance law.
Trump has denied Cohen’s claims and called him a “damaged” witness who has broken the law “repeatedly.”
“In the history of our Country there cannot have been a more damaged or less credible witness at trial than fully disbarred lawyer and felon, Michael Cohen,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
Graham, the ranking member on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is not the only high-profile GOP lawmaker to take aim at Bragg’s probe into Trump.
Earlier this week, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wrote on Twitter: “Alvin Bragg is abusing his office to target President Trump while he’s reduced a majority of felonies, including violent crimes, to misdemeanors. He has different rules for political opponents.”
“Republicans stopped the radical DC crime law, and we will investigate any use of federal funds that are used to facilitate the perversion of justice by Soros-backed DA’s across the country,” McCarthy added.