One Republican presidential hopeful has been speaking up about the potential arrest of former President Donald Trump.
On Saturday, Vivek Ramaswamy lashed out against a reported indicment and arrest warrant that may be issued by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office this week.
“It is un-American for the ruling party to use police power to arrest its political rivals,” Ramaswamy, a tech entrepreneur, wrote on Twitter. “If a Republican prosecutor in 2004 had used a campaign finance technicality to arrest then-candidate John Kerry while Bush & Cheney were in power, liberals would have cried foul—and rightly so.”
“This will mark a dark moment in American history and will undermine public trust in our electoral system itself,” Ramaswamy also wrote. “I call on the Manhattan District Attorney to reconsider this action and to put aside partisan politics in service of preserving our Constitutional republic.”
“Prosecutors should apply the same standards as they would to anyone else: this wouldn’t have been a criminal prosecution in any other case (a misdemeanor at most),” he added. “No doubt about it. Our entire country is skating on thin ice right now & we cannot afford to politicize the justice system or else we will reach our breaking point.”
Ramaswamy later held a press conference challenging Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to appear and speak out.
I held a press conference following my South Carolina speech. I called on GOP donor class favorites @RonDeSantisFL and @NikkiHaley to join me by 9 AM tomorrow in calling on the Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg to abandon the political persecution through prosecution of the 45th… https://t.co/UhXfV2ZroP pic.twitter.com/koSbMBwQRy
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) March 18, 2023
“I held a press conference following my South Carolina speech. I called on GOP donor class favorites @RonDeSantisFL and @NikkiHaley to join me by 9 AM tomorrow in calling on the Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg to abandon the political persecution through prosecution of the 45th president,” he added.
On Sunday, Trump doubled down on his comments about the Soros-backed Manhattan D.A. Alvin Bragg, and even accused President Joe Biden of being involved in the “witch hunt.”
“Biden wants to pretend he has nothing to do with the Manhattan D.A.’s Assault on Democracy when, in fact, he has ‘stuffed’ the D.A.’s Office with Department of Injustice people, including one top DOJ operative from D.C. who is actually running the ‘Horseface’ Witch Hunt,” Trump railed. “Bragg is a (Soros) Racist in Reverse, who is taking his orders from D.C. I beat them TWICE, doing much better the second time, and despite their DISINFORMATION campaign, they don’t want to run against ‘TRUMP’ or my GREAT RECORD!”
“When Alvin Bragg first attained office, he made it very clear that, like many other prosecutors, there was no case against Donald J. Trump,” he continued. “Then the Biden Administration, the Democrats, and the Fake News Media began pushing him, and pushing him hard, and low and behold he said that there might just be a case after all. I knew what that meant — He was being pushed to do something that shouldn’t be done. He wasn’t willing to stand up to Soros and the Marxists that are destroying our Country!”
“There was no ‘misdemeanor’ here either,” he continued. “There was no crime, period. All other of the many Democrat law enforcement officers that looked at it, took a pass. So did Cy Vance, and so did Bragg. But then, much latter, he changed his mind. Gee, I wonder why? Prosecutorial Misconduct and Interference with an Election. Investigate the Investigators!”
The Manhattan D.A. seemed to confirm there was some merit to Trump’s concerns by issuing a statement on Saturday night saying his office will not be “intimidated” about potential blowback.
“Please know that your safety is our top priority,” Bragg’s email read in part. “We have full confidence in our outstanding security staff and investigators, along with our great OCA and NYPD colleagues, and will continue to coordinate with all of them. We do not tolerate attempts to intimidate our office or threaten the rule of law in New York.”
“Our law enforcement partners will ensure that any specific or credible threats against the office will be fully investigated and that the proper safeguards are in place so all 1,600 of us have a secure work environment,” the email continued.
“This office is full of the finest public servants in the country,” the message added. “I am committed to maintaining a safe work environment where everyone is able to continue to serve the public with the same diligence and professionalism that make this institution so renowned. In the meantime, as with all of our investigations, We will continue to apply the law evenly and fairly, and speak publicly only when appropriate.”
Constitutional attorney Jonathan Turley is among critics of the Trump prosecution that believes the charges against him are “short on the law.”
“In this case, Trump reportedly paid Daniels $130,000 in the fall of 2016 to cut off or at least reduce any public scandal,” he added. “The Southern District of New York’s U.S. Attorney’s office had no love lost for Trump, pursuing him and his associates in myriad investigations, but it ultimately rejected a prosecution based on the election law violations. It was not alone: The Federal Election Commission (FEC) chair also expressed doubts about the theory.”
In addition, Hillary Clinton similarly ran afoul of FEC regulations in regards to improperly claiming legal expenses and merely had to pay a fine.
“The Federal Election Commission has reportedly fined Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee over complaints that they violated federal law in improperly describing expenditures to law firm Perkins Coie, who then hired research firm Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on then-candidate Donald Trump,” Fox News reported at the time.
Former President Barack Obama in 2013 was fined $375,000 for campaign reporting violations, one of the largest fines ever doled out by the FEC. Neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton were arrested.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ and Nikki Haley’s campaigns were asked to comment about Donald Trump’s possible indictment and arrest. This post will be updated accordingly as any official statements from those candidates are forthcoming.
Follow Kyle Becker on Twitter @kylenabecker.