Donald Trump vows to stay in 2024 race if he faces criminal charges
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has warned against intimidation and threats ahead of potential criminal charges against Donald Trump in the coming week.
“Our law enforcement partners will ensure that any specific or credible threats against the office will be fully investigated and that the proper safeguards are in place so all 1,600 of us have a secure work environment,” Mr Bragg wrote in a message to his employees.
Mr Trump predicted his arrest coming on Tuesday in a furious all-caps Truth Social post calling for protests to “take our nation back” as he depicts a violent vision of America in chaos.
Law enforcement agencies are reportedly preparing for the possibility of his indictment in relation to the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels. A spokesperson for Mr Trump later clarified that that there “has been no notification” of an arrest or charges, other than “illegal leaks” to news outlets.
Michael Cohen to return to DA’s office in Monday as ‘rebuttal witness’
Donald Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen will return to the Manhattan district attorney’s office on Monday to appear as a rebuttal witness, though he told MSNBC that to whom or what he is addressing is unclear.
Cohen – who was convicted in a federal case involving Trump’s hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels, a transaction allegedly central to a reported indictment against the former president – told MSNBC on Sunday that he was asked by the DA’s office to make himself available on Monday.
“I don’t know who the person is. Obviously once I find out who the person is I’ll know what the issue is because I was personally involved,” he said. “Again, I don’t know. It’s a little premature for me to be answering any questions on a topic that I, again, I don’t know who the person is and whether or not that person is or is not going to tell the truth.”
Alex Woodward19 March 2023 20:00
Hakeem Jeffries: MAGA Republicans ‘have not learned their lesson’ by endorsing violent extremism
House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries condemned Donald Trump’s incendiary rhetoric stoking unrest and demanding that his followers “protest” his predicted “arrest.”
In a statement on Saturday, as Democratic leaders rejected the former president’s alarming statements, the New York congressman said that “right-wing extremists who fan the flames of political violence with inflammatory rhetoric are not fit to serve”.
“The extreme MAGA Republicans as a group want to defund the FBI, investigate and intimidate law enforcement and continue to coddle violent insurrectionists who tried to overthrow the government,” Mr Jeffries told MSNBC’s Inside with Jen Psaki on Sunday.
“They clearly have not learned their lesson, and they are doubling and tripling down on their extremism, even when that extremism could have potentially deadly and violent consequences,” he said.
Alex Woodward19 March 2023 19:40
House Dem leader Hakeem Jeffries: ‘Mike Pence has embarrassed himself’
After former vice president Mike Pence criticised a potential criminal indictment of Donald Trump rather than the former president’s language stoking unrest, which mirrored his remarks surrounding January 6, House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries said Mr Pence has “embarrassed himself.”
The New York congressman, appearing on Jen Psaki’s new MSNBC programme, said the former vice president “knows better.”
“No one is above the law. That is a defining principle of the republic and has been the cast for 247 years,” he added. “I would just urge everyone to allow the prosecutors to do their job … and we’ll see where these investigations lead.”
Alex Woodward19 March 2023 19:20
Trump’s rhetoric intends to intimidate prosecutors and poison a jury pool, former DoJ official says
Donald Trump’s “incendiary rhetoric” and attempt to “intimidate local prosecutors” could “poison” a jury pool in his hometown of New York, according to a former Justice Department official.
“What I think is happening here is [Trump] trying to, number one, intimidate local prosecutors and number two, I think it also has the effect of poisoning a jury pool,” according to Anthony Cole, who used to lead the agency’s department of public affairs, speaking to MSNBC on Sunday.
He said the former president’s “incendiary rhetoric” is most troubling. Trump has invoked images of burning cities and World War III in his all-caps posts, echoing similarly apocalyptic and autocratic statements across his 2024 campaign and news of potential indictments.
“The thing that troubles me the most about what we saw over the last 24 hours is this type of incendiary rhetoric,” he said. “It’s … something we have of course seen before on January 6 leading into the violent attack on the Capitol.”
Alex Woodward19 March 2023 19:00
‘No crime, period’: Trump proclaims innocence and suggests ‘prosecutorial misconduct’ and election inferference
Donald Trump has baselessly suggested that the long-running investigation into his business and allegations of fraud are “prosecutorial misconduct and interference with an election” as it appears one of those probes has now resulted in a potential indictment and his arrest as he campaigns for the 2024 presidential election.
“There was no ‘misdemeanor’ here either,” he wrote on Truth Social on Sunday. “There was no crime, period.”
He claimed that “many Democrat law enforcement officers … took a pass” on his case, but that Alvin Bragg “changed his mind.”
“Gee, I wonder why?” he said.
Alex Woodward19 March 2023 18:26
The story of the hush money payment to Stormy Daniels that could result in charges against Donald Trump
Alleging that a hush agreement was invalid because Trump had not signed it, adult film star Stormy Daniels sued him and triggered what would become a years-long investigation into whether the scheme was legal at all points.
That question remains unanswered today, as Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is reportedly considering charges against the former president and possibly others as part of the long-running probe into the 2016 payment.
The Independent’s John Bowden has this timeline of the Trump-Stormy relationship and the cases surrounding it:
Alex Woodward19 March 2023 18:00
Just in: Trump lashes out at Biden in evidence-free rant as he frets about impending charges
Donald Trump lashed out at Joe Biden on Sunday as he appears to be consumed with anger and concern over the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation into a hush payment his attorney made to an adult film star on his behalf in 2016.
In his latest rant, the former president accused the Biden administration of working hand in hand with Alvin Bragg, the DA who empaneled a grand jury investigation in January that now appears to be nearing criminal charges.
Alex Woodward19 March 2023 17:25
Kari Lake said she spoke with Trump: ‘He sounds incredible’
Failed far-right candidate for Arizona governor Kari Lake, reportedly among a pool of potential running mates alongside Donald Trump in his 2024 campaign, said she spoke with the former president last night.
“He sounds incredible, despite the endless political persecution,” she said. (The former president is being investigated across several criminal and civil investigations with mounting allegations of fraud and conspiracy.)
Alex Woodward19 March 2023 17:10
Trump supporters float ‘Patriot Moat’ to protect ex-president as charges loom
Trump’s supporters have called for a so-called “patriot moat” to surround the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate to prevent his predicted arrest.
Mr Trump could make history this week if he is indicted over alleged hush money payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels in the run-up to the 2016 election.
The former president made the arrest prediction in a furious all-caps post on his Truth Social platform on Saturday morning and called on his supporters to protest any arrest and to “take our nation back.”
Alex Woodward19 March 2023 17:00
Another witness testifying before Manhattan grand jury ahead of potential Trump indictment, report says
Another witness is reportedly still on a list for a Manhattan grand jury to review this week, with testimony expected on Monday afternoon.
The Independent’s John Bowden has the latest:
Alex Woodward19 March 2023 16:40