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WORLD NEWS | As possible charges loom, some Trump rivals rally to his side


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NORTH CHARLESTON, March 19 (AP) – A group of potential rivals for Donald Trump’s 2024 Republican presidential nomination were among the protesters Saturday after Trump said he was preparing for a possible arrest. Senior Republicans were quick to defend him.

“The idea of ​​indicting a former president of the United States deeply disturbs me and tens of millions of Americans,” former Vice President Mike Pence, a possible Trump rival, said during a visit to Iowa. state. Vivek Ramaswamy, a tech investor running in South Carolina, said he didn’t want to live in a country where “the ruling party can use police force to arrest its political opponents.”

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The reaction underscores the political risk for would-be opponents, eager to convince voters that now is the time to move on from the former president, who must grapple with the fact that he remains the party’s most popular figure. The multiple investigations Trump faces — his social media posts about the Manhattan district attorney’s investigation led to public statements of support — remain popular with his supporters, and criticizing Trump too harshly could alienate his loyal supporters.

Trump drew similar support last summer after the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago club as part of an investigation into his handling of classified documents. Search has also proven to be a boon for fundraising.

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Defenders of Trump include House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who said a possible prosecution would be an “aggressive district attorney abusing his power to let violent criminals walk while he pursues political revenge” against Trump.

McCarthy, R-Calif., said he would direct related Republican-led House committees to “immediately investigate whether federal funds were being used to subvert our democracy through politically motivated prosecutions to interfere in the election.” McCarthy did not endorse Trump’s White House campaign, but Trump helped McCarthy secure the Speaker’s seat after a contentious campaign that required multiple rounds of voting.

Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, the No. 3 ranking Republican in the House and an early Trump supporter, said the district attorney’s action would be “un-American.”

Hours earlier, Trump claimed in a social media post that he expected to be arrested next week as New York Attorney Alvin Bragg was considering confronting a woman who allegedly had sex with Trump The investigation into the payment of hush money brought charges. Trump, who has long denied the allegations, had been responding to media reports in the post and was not aware of any pending legal action, a lawyer and spokesman for Trump said Saturday.

Still, Trump announced in a message posted on his Truth Social network that “far ahead of the leading Republican candidate and former President of the United States of America, will be arrested next Tuesday.” He then called on his supporters” Protest, Protest, Protest!!!” recalling his plea ahead of the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Any potential violence sparked by Trump’s remarks could change the tone of the reaction. But on Saturday, several of Trump’s avowed and potential rivals were quick to attack the district attorney’s investigation.

Pence, who has escalated his criticism of the former president in recent weeks, said the news was particularly disturbing “in what appears to be a politically charged environment in New York, where the attorney general and other elected officials are actually campaigning on promises.” Sue the former president.”

“No one is above the law,” he added. “I am confident that President Trump can take care of himself. My focus will continue to be on issues that affect the American people.”

Pence was noncommittal when asked on Thursday whether Trump should step down if he is indicted. “I think this is a free country. Everyone can make their own decisions,” he said.

Trump has said he would continue to run for president even if indicted.

Ramaswamy, already a declared candidate, had earlier called on Prague to “reconsider”.

“The indictment of Trump would be a national disaster,” Ramaswamy tweeted. “It is un-American for a ruling party to use police powers to arrest its political opponents.”

Representatives for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, another potential candidate seen as Trump’s top rival, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday – the super PAC backing Trump’s candidacy announced the decision. Another announced candidate, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, has not commented on the investigation during her campaign in South Carolina.

Ramaswamy called on Haley and DeSantis to join him in denouncing possible prosecution.

Sen. JD Vance of Ohio, who won the 2022 race on Trump’s backing, said he was asked by multiple reporters whether the indictment would lead him to withdraw his support for the Trump campaign.

“Answer: Absolutely not. A politically motivated prosecution strengthens the argument for Trump,” he tweeted. “If justice depends on politics, we don’t have a real country at all.”

Prosecutors have been investigating hush money payments to two women who allegedly had sex with Trump decades ago. A grand jury has been hearing from witnesses including former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who said he orchestrated payments to the women in 2016 in exchange for their silence.

Trump has denied the encounters and has described the investigation as a “witch hunt” by Democratic prosecutors bent on undermining Trump’s recent presidential campaign. Trump has said he believes the prosecution will help his 2024 campaign.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, RS.C., a longtime ally of his, agreed.

“The prosecutor in New York has done more to help Donald Trump get elected,” Graham said Saturday at the Vision ’24 conference in North Charleston, South Carolina. “They did it because they were afraid of Donald Trump.” (AP society)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)


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