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Former U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is a Republican and has vowed to oppose any move to arrest Donald Trump after predicting he would be arrested early next week.
Speaking to ABC News on Sunday, Pence said the criminal investigation into Trump in New York over possible financial misconduct was a political move by the “radical left.”
“The idea of prosecuting a former US president at a time when a wave of crime is sweeping through New York City is astounding… the Manhattan Attorney’s Office believes prosecuting President Trump is his top priority. In fact, I think Mr. Pence told ABC News host Jonathan Carr:
“It feels like a politically charged prosecution here. For my part, I feel that’s not what Americans want to see.”
Trump, who is under investigation by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg for allegedly paying “hush money” in connection with an intimate encounter with another woman in 2016 with adult movie star Stormy Daniels, is still on trial. not indicted.
Reports surfaced over the weekend that a range of law enforcement agencies, including the Secret Service, were involved in intense negotiations over the logistics of a possible surrender by Trump.
posting On his social network Truth Social, Trump claimed he could be arrested this Tuesday and called on his supporters to “protest and take back our country!”
Pence dismissed concerns that Trump was trying to incite unrest, arguing that “the American people have a constitutional right to assemble peacefully,” but insisted that any demonstration would be “peaceful and lawful.” He stressed that it should be done “to”.
A grand jury is hearing witnesses, including former Trump attorney Michael Cohen. Cohen said he arranged payments to porn actor Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal totaling $280,000 to buy silence about Trump. presidential election.
Cohen and federal prosecutors allege that Trump’s firm paid Trump $420,000 to cover a $130,000 payment to Daniels and bonuses and other supposed expenses. . The company has classified these payments internally as legal expenses.
A Trump spokesperson said the investigation was “a witch hunt to the next level” and that Trump was correct in “emphasizing his innocence and weaponizing the corrupt system.”
Since the 2021 Capitol riots, Pence has walked a tightrope, sometimes defending and sometimes criticizing his former boss.
Other Trump-supporting Republicans have also issued warnings against attempts to arrest the former president.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy tweeted that the possible arrest was “an outrageous abuse of power by a radical DA who neglects violent criminals in his pursuit of political vendetta against President Trump.”
McCarthy added that he directed the relevant subcommittee to “immediately investigate whether federal funds are being used to subvert democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions.” .
Far-right Republicans believe Trump’s indictment will only increase his chances of the 2024 Republican nomination.
Republican Rep. and conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Green called on “all Republicans” to “burn the scorched earth” over possible arrests, saying, “Anyone who thinks they will stay with President Trump and not pursue them.” , you are fooling yourself.”
She added: fear and anger.
“When election time comes, that’s the most powerful combination.”
According to the Extremism Observatory, there have so far been no signs of concerted action by far-right groups in response to President Trump’s call for protest, such as was detected days before the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol. hardly seen.
But Democrats have accused Trump supporters of fomenting a dangerous political divide. Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren said that “no one is above the law” even if he happened to be president, and that any investigation “must be allowed to proceed properly.”
“There is no reason to protest this. This is a law that works as it should without fear or favor for anyone,” she said. He agreed, calling Trump’s remarks “reckless.”
“He cannot hide from breaking the law, disrespecting our elections, and inciting violence. Naturally, our legal system will determine how to hold him accountable,” she said. Told.