(Washington) Republican tenors on Sunday denounced a “political” relentlessness against Donald Trump, who could become the first former American president to be indicted, the Democrats worrying that the billionaire’s calls to demonstrate will lead to further violence from his supporters.
The possibility of an indictment against Donald Trump has suddenly grown closer since he was asked to testify in the so-called “Stormy Daniels” case, a possible sign that the investigation by the New York prosecutor’s office is coming to an end. It concerns a payment dating from 2016, to buy the silence of this pornographic actress on a supposed former affair.
On Saturday, the former Republican president, who is again a candidate for the 2024 presidential election, said he was going to be “arrested” on Tuesday, and called on his supporters to “save America” and to “protest”.
In the process, many Republicans came to his defense, foremost among them the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, who denounced an “abuse of power” on the part of the New York State Attorney for Manhattan. , Alvin Bragg.
Even former Vice President Mike Pence, who nevertheless distanced himself from Donald Trump after his supporters attacked the Capitol on January 6, 2021, gave his support to the billionaire on Sunday.
The lawsuits are “politically motivated”, judged his former right-hand man, who himself has ambitions for 2024 and therefore takes care of his image with the Republican base. He said he was “dismayed” that a former president could be charged by this prosecutor “at the time of a crime wave in New York”.
“Americans have a constitutional right to peacefully assemble,” he added.
On the Democratic side, such a defense was deemed irresponsible.
Mr. Pence places “his ambition above the general interest” by “attacking potential lawsuits against Trump and defending a call to demonstrate”, tackled on Twitter the elected House member Adam Schiff, former member of the parliamentary commission that investigated the assault on the Capitol.
“There is no reason to demonstrate,” said Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren on Sunday. “It’s about justice working as it should, without fear or privilege for anyone. »
The day before, elected Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who presided over the House of Representatives on January 6, 2021, described Donald Trump’s calls to demonstrate as “dangerous”.
“It will be important for law enforcement to pay attention to these protests and ensure that they do not reach the level of violence” of January 6, Arizona Democratic Senator Mark Kelly said Sunday. , who replied in the affirmative to a journalist asking him if he was worried.
According to press reports, prosecutor Alvin Bragg assured his teams that no “attempted intimidation” or threat would be “tolerated”.
Several US media have reported that local and federal authorities are preparing for the possibility of indictment of the former president, which could pose a security challenge in the event of protests outside the court, whether supporters or opponents of Donald Trump.
Such an unprecedented indictment would undoubtedly be explosive and could mark the campaign for the 2024 presidential election.
Although, according to American journalists, the former tenant of the White House fears the prospect of an arrest, an indictment could also benefit him by galvanizing his base.
“The prosecutor in New York did more to help Donald Trump get elected president than anyone in the United States today,” influential Senator Lindsey Graham said on Saturday, calling the New York lawsuits a “selective”.
The lawsuits will “create a lot of sympathy for the former president”, added the Republican governor of New Hampshire, Chris Sununu, who predicted “a political circus”.
The judicial investigation relates to a payment 130 000 dollars paid to the actress Stormy Daniels – Stephanie Clifford of her real name – so that she conceals an alleged affair with Mr. Trump. This payment took place in 2016, just before the presidential election finally won by the billionaire.
The New York prosecutor’s office considers that it was a question of influencing the election by preventing embarrassing information from being made public, and therefore of a concealed donation to the president’s campaign, in violation of campaign finance laws.