In the face of a looming indictment against former US President Donald Trump, Republicans continue to push the responsible district attorney Alvin Bragg in front of them. The prosecutor should not spend tax money on the investigation, said James Comer, chairman of a key congressional committee, on television.

These are a “political trick”. Bragg defended himself. “We judge the cases in our jurisdiction based on the facts, the law and the evidence.” An indictment against Trump could be decided today.

It’s all about this

The New York prosecutor is investigating the ousted ex-president for hush money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal. An indictment seems increasingly likely. Investigators are wondering whether Trump may have violated campaign finance laws by making the payment. According to media reports, the responsible grand jury is to meet again today. In the United States, a jury decides whether to press charges after the prosecutor has presented evidence.

It is unclear whether the grand jury will already vote today. US media reported that more witnesses may be heard. Then a vote would be rather unlikely. The jury meets regularly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays behind closed doors. The public can therefore only see what happens when witnesses speak out after a hearing. Trump had even announced his arrest for last Tuesday. That turned out to be wrong.

Trump rails

Republican congressmen tried to pressure Bragg with investigations. They demanded a statement and documents from him. Prosecutors dismissed the interference as “unprecedented”. Republican Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan claimed without evidence that Bragg was acting under “political pressure from left-wing activists.” It is not excluded that the committee summons the prosecutor. With their majority in the House of Representatives, the Republicans can push ahead with parliamentary investigations.

During an election campaign appearance in the state of Texas, Trump himself railed that the investigation was being controlled by the “deep state”. Behind the term “deep state” used in conspiracy myths is the idea that secret powers are pulling the strings in the background of political decisions. “We will finish what we started. With you by my side, we will completely wipe out the deep state,” Trump threatened. Last week he warned that false accusations against him could result in “death and destruction”.

Worried about new protests?

The 76-year-old has also called for protests in view of a possible indictment. The appeal brought back memories of the storming of the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. At that time, Trump incited supporters who then broke into the parliament building.

The Senate Intelligence Committee is regularly briefed by the FBI on the situation, Democratic committee chair Mark Warner told CNN. So far, no one has been informed about specific threats. “But the level of rhetoric on some of these right-wing sites has increased.”

Trump is applying to the Republicans for a new presidential candidacy for the next election in November 2024. In polls, he is ahead within the party. He repeatedly describes the various allegations in the legal field as a “witch hunt”. If criminal proceedings are instituted, Trump could become the first ex-president to be charged with an alleged crime.