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Fears in Trumpworld? Ex-president’s camp issues statement slamming Manhattan prosecutors as charges loom

This week, Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen testified before the grand jury – while Trump’s attorney went on a media blitz slamming the Manhattan criminal probe

Rachel Sharp
Friday 17 March 2023 12:46 GMT
Trump lawyer says ex-president lied about Stormy Daniels payoff to avoid breaching agreement

Donald Trump’s campaign has launched a fierce attack on the Manhattan prosecutors investigating the Stormy Daniels hush money payments in what could be a sign the former president’s camp is worried about a looming indictment.

Mr Trump’s campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung released a statement on Thursday slamming Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office over what they claim is a “witch hunt” against the one-term president.

“President Donald J. Trump is completely innocent, he did nothing wrong, and even the biggest, most Radical Left Democrats are making that clear,” said Mr Cheung.

“From Russia, Russia, Russia, to the Mueller Hoax, to Impeachment Hoaxes 1 and 2, and even the Unlawful Mar-a-Lago Raid, Democrats have investigated and attacked President Trump since before he was elected – and they’ve failed every time.”

‘Now, Democrats are at it again, pushing the “Nuclear Button” and attacking a president because of a disgraced extortionist.”

The statement claimed that New York prosecutors are out to get Mr Trump because he “is leading in the polls by a large margin against both Democrats and Republicans” – a statement that is also up for debate.

The latest poll from Quinnipiac University this week shows Mr Trump has a 14-point lead over his potential biggest GOP rival Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

However, President Joe Biden has a four-point lead over Mr Trump, the poll shows.

Mr Trump’s campaign went on to claim that DA Bragg is “making a political donation of a different kind to Joe Biden”.

“Americans will not tolerate Radical Left Democrats turning our justice system into an injustice system to influence a presidential election,” the statement reads.

“Our country is not going to let this happen.”

While Mr Trump has repeatedly attacked the New York investigation on his Truth Social platform, the lengthy official statement suggests that his camp is growing increasingly concerned that a criminal indictment may be just around the corner.

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event on Monday (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

This week – the same week that adult film star Ms Daniels and Mr Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen testified before the grand jury – Mr Trump’s attorney Joe Tacopina went on a media blitz slamming the probe in a number of testy exchanges with journalists.

DA Bragg’s office also invited Mr Trump to testify this week – an invitation he unsurprisingly turned down.

While it was an invitation he was unlikely to accept, it sent the clearest signal to date that he could be criminally indicted for his role in the hush money payments to Ms Daniels.

Under New York law, a person has a right to appear before a grand jury before a prosecutor asks the grand jury to indict them on charges.

Manhattan prosecutors have been investigating whether Mr Trump falsified the Trump Organization’s business records when Mr Trump’s former lawyer and “fixer” Michael Cohen made a payment of $130,0000 to Ms Daniels days before the 2016 election.

Prosecutors claim that the money was used to silence Ms Daniels about an alleged affair she had with Mr Trump.

Mr Trump has long denied having an affair with the adult film star.

If prosecuted, Mr Trump would become the first former president in American history to face criminal charges.

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