Former President Donald Trump’s “vitriolic” social media posts could be seen as inciting violence against the Manhattan District Attorney’s office, a group of former federal prosecutors warned in an open letter.
The roughly 175 ex-prosecutors denounced Trump’s attempts to intimidate Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, following a week of increasingly incendiary rhetoric when Trump referred to Bragg, the first Black man ever elected Manhattan DA, as an “animal” and a “racist,” and called on his followers to “protest!”
Trump warned that “potential death & destruction” could occur if he’s indicted, and described Bragg as a “degenerate psychopath.”
“Former President Donald Trump has repeatedly issued vitriolic attacks on the District Attorney, and most recently made statements that can be construed as inciting violence,” the group wrote. “As former prosecutors, we denounce efforts to intimidate the Manhattan District Attorney and we call upon all to support and protect prosecutorial independence and the rule of law.”
Bragg is weighing whether to seek an indictment from a grand jury that’s been investigating Trump’s involvement in a $130,000 hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels.
Trump stated last week that he was on the brink of being “arrested” as soon as last Tuesday, although even his own spokesperson later confirmed Trump had no basis for giving such a concrete timeline. Many independent experts do think Trump could soon be charged with a crime as soon as this week, although the timing remains highly uncertain.
Bragg’s office recently received a threatening letter containing white powder and the words: “”ALVIN: I AM GOING TO KILL YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
The letter was addressed to Bragg and mailed from Orlando, Florida on Tuesday, according to NBC News.
Trump’s account also posted, then deleted, an image of Trump holding a baseball bat menacingly over a photo of Bragg’s head. Trump’s lawyer, Joe Tacopina, claimed that one of Trump’s “social media people” had posted the link, and that Trump himself later took it down. Tacopina acknowledged the post was a bad idea, and called it “ill-advised.”
Trump’s other incendiary posts have stayed up, however, including a post in which Trump mocked the idea that his followers should be peaceful. Trump wrote in all-caps: “Our country is being destroyed, as they tell us to be peaceful!”
“We must protect prosecutors from efforts to intimidate or improperly influence them,” the open letter states. “Indeed, in a democracy, it is critical to maintain prosecutorial independence and the rule of law.”
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