Trump indictment: Gaetz says US will ‘pay for this decision’

  • An indictment could happen as early as Wednesday, sources told NewsNation
  • Gaetz: Trump will come out of an indictment "stronger politically"
  • The former president has called for protests if he is indicted

(NewsNation) — Former President Donald Trump could be indicted by a Manhattan grand jury as soon as this week, potentially charged with falsifying business records connected to hush money payments on his behalf during his 2016 presidential campaign.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), of the House Judiciary Committee, told NewsNation there’s an expectation that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg will indict Trump, and he will turn himself in sometime next week.

“I’m concerned about the message that this sends all over the world, that America’s moral authority will be zapped when there are despots in other parts of the globe who want to jail their political enemies who want to arrest the prior administration who want to ensure that their upcoming rivals don’t have the opportunity to stand for election.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s team appears to be looking at whether Trump or anyone committed crimes in New York state in arranging the payments, or in the way they accounted for them internally at the Trump Organization.

Trump denies any wrongdoing and has slammed the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office probe as politically motivated.

About half of Americans agree. According to a two-day Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll, which ended Tuesday, 54% of respondents – including 80% of the former president’s fellow Republicans and 32% of Democrats – said politics was driving the criminal case being weighed by a Manhattan grand jury.

Republicans have also blasted the indictment as “politically motivated” and an “abuse of power.” Democrats have also slightly pushed back on this issue.

Now, three House Republican Committee chairs, including from the judiciary panel, are seeking testimony and documents from Bragg.

“We shouldn’t perform criminal justice by virtue of karma, right, there actually has to be the adherence to facts and law. What Chairman Jordan and Chairman Steil and Chairman Comer have requested is testimony and information from Alvin Bragg regarding the extent to which the special counsel investigation —remember Robert Mueller and the days of accusing Donald Trump of being a Russian agent, well, apparently that fizzled, but now it has germinated in the form of this state-based criminal charge,”

Gaetz also said he thinks Trump will “come out of this likely stronger politically,” after he’s indicted, if that happens.

Politically, Trump allies believe the case actually will benefit the former president in the short term by energizing his base in a competitive Republican primary, and would provide another boost later on if it ultimately fails to yield a conviction.

An indictment wouldn’t stop Trump from continuing his campaign. There is no prohibition against running while facing criminal charges — or even following conviction. Indeed, convicted felons have run for president before, including from behind bars.

An indictment would mark an unprecedented moment in American history, the first criminal case against a former U.S. president.

Law enforcement officials are bracing for protests and the possibility of violence after Trump called on his supporters to protest ahead of a possible indictment. Some small demonstrations have taken place in New York, but the New York Police Department said there were no credible threats to the city at this time.


Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending on NewsNation