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Trump Preemptively Blames Manhattan DA for His Own Loyalists’ Violent Protests

An indictment could result in “death & destruction,” Trump said, alluding to his own followers’ possible response.

Former President Donald Trump speaks with reporters as he lands at Quad City International Airport in route to Iowa on March 13, 2023, in Moline, Illinois.

This week, former President Donald Trump made several racist and antisemitic posts on his Truth Social website, criticizing Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who is investigating accusations that Trump falsified business records to hide hush-money payments to an alleged mistress.

Trump also suggested that his followers might engage in “death & destruction” if he is indicted.

Last weekend, Trump told his followers that he would be charged by Bragg on Tuesday, and urged them to protest against that action if it happened. Although no charges have been brought against Trump so far, the post set off a media firestorm, with people speculating if and when charges would be made.

Many have noted that Trump’s call for protests echoed similar demands he made after his loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, when he told his loyalists to join him for a “wild” time in Washington D.C. as Congress would be certifying the election. After Trump ordered his loyalists to go to the Capitol in an incendiary speech outside the White House, a mob of his followers breached the building, temporarily interrupting the process of verifying Biden’s win.

Allies of Trump have attempted to downplay comparisons between his January 6 rhetoric and his calls for a protest this week. On Thursday, however, Trump belittled the idea that his followers should protest peacefully.

Bragg is “JUST CARRYING OUT THE PLANS OF THE RADICAL LEFT LUNATICS,” Trump claimed without evidence, adding that the country “IS BEING DESTROYED, AS THEY TELL US TO BE PEACEFUL!”

Trump continued to post on Friday morning, calling Bragg a “degenerate psychopath” and blaming the Manhattan District Attorney for any violence committed by his loyalists in the near future.

Trump derided the idea of being charged with a crime, “when it is known … that potential death & destruction in such a false charge could be catastrophic for our Country?”

Trump also called the city prosecutor, who is Black, a “SOROS BACKED ANIMAL.”

Far right complaints about George Soros, a Jewish billionaire philanthropist who often donates to liberal political figures and causes, are often linked to unfounded and antisemitic conspiracy theories, and there is a long, documented history of racists dehumanizing Black people by describing them as “animals.”

Earlier this week, Bragg pushed back against a letter from the chairs of several GOP-led congressional committees that suggested his investigation was political.

That letter came from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chair of the House Judiciary Committee; Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Wisconsin), chair of the House Administration Committee; and Rep. James Comer (R-Kentucky), chair of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee. The three lawmakers demanded that Bragg share with them details of his investigation, and sit for deposition testimony to explain the rationale for his inquiry against Trump. The letter also included criticisms about Bragg’s investigation based on assumptions about details that have not yet been made public.

The letter from the congressional chairs is “an unlawful incursion into New York’s sovereignty,” Bragg’s general counsel Leslie Dubeck said in a response.

Dubeck also noted that it was suspicious that the letter from the committee chairs “only came after Donald Trump created a false expectation that he would be arrested the next day, and his lawyers reportedly urged you to intervene.”

“Neither fact is a legitimate basis for a congressional inquiry,” she added.