Former President Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign blasted Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into him as a “witch hunt” ahead of a possible indictment that might be issued against him.
Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung said in a statement on Thursday that Trump is “completely innocent” and did “nothing wrong.” He said Democrats have attacked Trump since before he was first elected as president and are trying again because Trump is leading in the polls “by a large margin” against both Republicans and Democrats.
Polling has largely shown Trump leading Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and other current and potential Republican candidates for the nomination, while some have shown DeSantis with a lead or closely behind.
Polls have also shown mixed results in a hypothetical rematch between Trump and President Biden.
Cheung said the investigation will “backfire massively” for the Democratic Party and “end in disgrace” for the country.
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.
I’m directing relevant committees to immediately investigate if federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by… https://t.co/elpbh7LeWn
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) March 18, 2023
The statement comes as Bragg appears to be close to potentially filling one or multiple charges against the former president in the investigation into a hush-money payment that was made to adult film star Stormy Daniels. This would be the first time that criminal charges are filed against a former president.
If this happens, Trump will be re-elected in a landslide victory
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 18, 2023
Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen testified before a grand jury investigating the payments on Monday.
The investigation stems from payments that Cohen admitted to making to Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election for her to not disclose an affair that she and Trump had.
Cohen pleaded guilty to a handful of charges in 2018 including campaign finance violations. He paid Daniels $130,000 and Trump reimbursed him for the payment. He also paid model Karen McDougal $150,000 through the publisher of the National Enquirer to stay silent about an affair she had with Trump.
Trump has acknowledged that he reimbursed Cohen for the payment but said it was unrelated to his campaign funding. Trump’s company noted the payment as a legal expense.
Federal prosecutors have said the Trump Organization “grossed up” the reimbursement for “tax purposes” and netted more than $400,000.
Daniels also met with Manhattan prosecutors on Wednesday. Cohen has met with investigators more than a dozen times during their probe.
With Cohen and Daniels testifying before the grand jury, almost every major figure involved in what happened has testified. Trump was also invited to appear before the grand jury, a sign that charges could soon follow, but he appears unlikely to do so.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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