By Jack Phillips
Former President Donald Trump on Sunday accused Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg of misconduct over his office’s investigation into an alleged hush money payment and called for an investigation into whether Bragg is interfering in the 2024 election.
On Saturday, Trump said he would be arrested Tuesday on charges connected to the investigation amid anonymously sourced reports that Bragg was looking into procedural rules around indicting the former president. A day later, he wrote on Truth Social that “there was no crime” and again accused Bragg of acting in a politically motivated manner.
“All other of the many Democrat law enforcement officers that looked at it, took a pass. So did [former Manhattan DA] Cy Vance, and so did Bragg. But then, much latter [sic], he changed his mind. Gee, I wonder why? Prosecutorial Misconduct and Interference with an Election. Investigate the Investigators!” Trump wrote on Sunday.
In another post Sunday, the 45th president asserted that Bragg, a Democrat, initially decided not to pursue the investigation before reversing his decision. Then, according to Trump, Bragg was pressured by the Biden White House, Democrats, and other entities into bringing a case against him.
“When Alvin Bragg first attained office, he made it very clear that, like many other prosecutors, there was no case against Donald J. Trump. Then the Biden Administration, the Democrats, and the Fake News Media began pushing him, and pushing him hard, and low and behold he said that there might just be a case after all,” Trump wrote.
Bragg is investigating whether Trump falsified business records by concealing his reimbursement of his former lawyer Michael Cohen for a $130,000 payment Cohen made to Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, in 2016. Trump has denied any wrongdoing and said he did not engage in an affair with Daniels.
Trump, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, did not say in Truth Social posts whether he had been formally notified of forthcoming charges and did not discuss the possible charges in the post. A spokesperson for Trump, Steven Cheung, told The Epoch Times that his team hasn’t been formally notified of any pending arrest.
Cohen previously testified that Trump directed him to arrange the payment, and Cohen pleaded guilty in December 2018 to campaign finance violations and other charges. But, according to a Trump lawyer in a March 10 statement, charging Trump in connection to the case would represent an unprecedented move.
“For the DA’s office to charge former President Trump, a victim of extortion, with a crime because his then lawyer, Michael Cohen, a convicted liar, paid the extortionist would be unprecedented and outrageous selective prosecution,” Trump attorney Susan Necheles said.
No U.S. president, while in office or afterward, has faced criminal charges. Trump has said he will continue campaigning even if charged with a crime, and he is expected to hold a rally later in March in Waco, Texas.
Trump is also confronting a state-level criminal probe in Georgia over efforts to overturn the 2020 results in that state. A special counsel named by U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland is currently investigating Trump’s handling of government documents after leaving office and the aftermath of the 2020 election.
In those cases, Trump has denied wrongdoing and described those investigations as politically motivated.
Reuters contributed to this report.