Justice Department ‘is irritated by Manhattan DA’s indictment of Donald Trump because they believe hush money charges are weak and could damage more serious Georgia electoral fraud and January 6 probes’
- Donald Trump is facing multiple investigations, and on Thursday was indicted in the first, regarding hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels
- The indictment was enacted by the Manhattan district attorney, but The New York Times reported that the Justice Department was concerned about the case
- Senior officials, the paper claimed, were worried that the Manhattan case could complicate what they see as stronger cases – electoral fraud and January 6
Justice Department officials are said to be annoyed by the Manhattan District Attorney’s decision to indict Trump, as they believe it is a weak case which could undermine more serious legal probes Trump is facing.
Alvin Bragg’s intention to criminally charge the former president for his payment of hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels was revealed on Thursday – sparking consternation and anger in Mar-a-Lago, and, according to The New York Times, in Washington DC.
The paper reported that ‘senior officials’ at the Justice Department had concerns about the strength of Bragg’s case.
The case has not been made public yet, but is believed to contain at least 30 counts related to the payment to Daniels shortly before the 2016 election.
Justice Department officials reportedly consider Bragg’s case a weak one. They’re currently probing claims Trump tried to overturn Biden’s 2020 election win in Georgia, and whether he incited the January 6 2021 riots.
Federal attorneys are said to believe both cases are stronger than the hush money allegations, and fear Bragg’s decision to proceed could undermine future prosecutions if the New York case against Trump does indeed collapse, or end in acquittal.
Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg leaving his office on Thursday evening. A spokesperson said the office had contacted Trump’s lawyers to begin the process of bringing him to Manhattan
Trump is also being investigated for his attempt to overturn the 2020 election, including his whipping up of the crowds on January 6, 2021 (pictured)
Election workers are pictured in Fulton County, Georgia, on January 5, 2021. Trump pressured Georgia officials to ‘find’ votes for him
The payments to Daniels could be considered campaign finance violations because they assisted Trump’s campaign – covering up his alleged affair – but were not reported as campaign contributions.
Furthermore, the Justice Department officials are concerned that Trump’s indictment by New York prosecutors could complicate the work of Special Counsel Jack Smith – appointed by the attorney general, Merrick Garland, to investigate both Mar-a-Lago classified documents and Trump’s actions in relation to the efforts to overturn the election.
Smith is looking into the January 6 riot and attempts to pressure officials to change the vote tallies.
Before Christmas, Smith issued a subpoena to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to appear before a grand jury.
Trump, in a taped phone call, suggested that Raffensperger ‘find’ the votes needed to give him a win in Georgia.
‘I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have,’ Trump said.
The Justice Department had no comment about the Trump indictment.
The White House has also refused to comment.
Trump blasted the indictment and said Democrats would regret persecuting an innocent man when his supporters dumped them out of office.
In the meantime, the Manhattan district attorney’s office said it was in touch with Trump’s lawyers to arrange his surrender in New York.
A source told DailyMail.com that the head of Trump’s security detail recently traveled to Manhattan to review arrangements and that the former president would likely be formally arrested next week.
That could be as soon as Tuesday, Susan Necheles, one of his lawyers, told the New York Times.
Although the indictment is sealed for now, CNN reported that it contained more than 30 criminal charges.
A Manhattan grand jury has voted to indict former president Donald Trump over hush money paid to pornstar Stormy Daniels
Trump played nine holes of golf at his West Palm Beach club on Thursday. He is pictured here a day earlier with Natalie Harp, who helps run his Truth Social media account
‘The Democrats have lied, cheated and stolen in their obsession with trying to “Get Trump,” but now they’ve done the unthinkable – indicting a completely innocent person in an act of blatant election Interference,’ Trump said in an emailed statement.
‘Never before in our nation’s history has this been done.’
The indictment marks the end of a five-year investigation into cash paid to the adult movie star in 2016, allegedly to buy her silence about their affair.
And it takes the country into uncharted political and legal territory.
Although being charged with a crime would not disqualify him from running for office, it does mean a leading 2024 candidate faces the humiliation of arrest.
A spokesperson for Bragg said talks had begun to bring Trump to New York.
‘This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal,’ they said.
Earlier, Trump played nine holes of golf at his Florida club as usual on Thursday morning. But the 76-year-old did not stay for lunch even though his usual table was reserved.
A grand jury has been hearing evidence about allegations that Donald Trump paid $130,000 to adult movie star Stormy Daniels to buy her silence over their affair
Trump railed against the indictment in an emailed statement. He said this ‘Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden’ and predicted Democrats will be voted out of office
A source close to his Mar-a-Lago home said the Trump team was ready with statements and social media messaging as soon as the indictment dropped.
‘We had a plan in place and the plan was executed,’ the source said.
‘Getting surrogates out, getting content out.’
Within minutes his sons Don Jr and Eric were livecasting or tweeting; fundraising appeals followed; and an emailed statement arrived from Trump himself in inboxes soon after.
‘I believe this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden,’ said Trump, before criticizing the Bragg.
‘The American people realize exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here.
‘Everyone can see it.
‘So our Movement, and our Party – united and strong – will first defeat Alvin Bragg, and then we will defeat Joe Biden, and we are going to throw every last one of these Crooked Democrats out of office so we can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!’
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