Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg reportedly offered a private response on Saturday to remarks made by former President Donald Trump, who urged supporters to protest after claiming that he would be arrested on Tuesday.
Trump’s remarks come after a report from NBC News said federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies were analyzing security assessments and making plans to prepare for the possibility that Trump could be indicted next week, although no date is given in the report. A spokesperson for Trump later said that Trump has been given “no notification” that there will be an arrest next week.
“PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!” Trump wrote at the end of one social media post, while adding in another: “WE JUST CAN’T ALLOW THIS ANYMORE. THEY’RE KILLING OUR NATION AS WE SIT BACK & WATCH. WE MUST SAVE AMERICA! PROTEST, PROTEST, PROTEST!!!”
Bragg, who has been accused of leading a politically-motivated case against the former president, reportedly wrote in an email to employees that was obtained by POLITICO: “I’m sure you have seen the ongoing press attention and public comments surrounding an ongoing investigation by this office.”
“Please know that your safety is our top priority,” Bragg continued. “We have full confidence in our outstanding security staff and investigators, along with our great OCA and NYPD colleagues, and will continue to coordinate with all of them. We do not tolerate attempts to intimidate our office or threaten the rule of law in New York. 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 so all 1,600 of us have a secure work environment.”
“This office is full of the finest public servants in the country. I am committed to maintaining a safe work environment where everyone is able to continue to serve the public with the same diligence and professionalism that make this institution so renowned,” Bragg concluded. “In the meantime, as with all of our investigations, we will continue to apply the law evenly and fairly, and speak publicly only when appropriate.”
The case involves an alleged payment that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen admits he made to Daniels during the presidential race to keep quiet about an alleged 2006 tryst between Trump and Daniels. Cohen pleaded guilty to related charges and served time in prison.
Although non-disclosure agreements are legal, the potential problem for Trump centers around how his company reimbursed Cohen. The payment was listed as a legal expense and the company cited a retainer agreement with Cohen. The retainer agreement did not exist and the reimbursement was not related to any legal services from Cohen, thus setting up a potential misdemeanor criminal charge of falsifying business records. The report said that Trump personally signed several of the checks to Cohen while he was serving as president.
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Prosecutors can elevate the misdemeanor to a felony if they can prove that Trump’s “‘intent to defraud’ included an intent to commit or conceal a second crime.”
Prosecutors argue that the second crime is that the alleged $130,000 hush payment was an improper donation to the Trump campaign because the money was used to stop a story for the purpose of benefiting his presidential campaign.