“Violence will not be tolerated”

Former Vice President Mike Pence said on Saturday he viewed the potential indictment of former President Trump by the Manhattan District Attorney as “deeply troubling”, but stressed that “violence will not be tolerated”. while the former president calls for demonstrations.

Trump said in a message to Truth Social that he expects to be arrested on Tuesday as part of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into a silent payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign.

“The idea of ​​indicting a former president of the United States is deeply troubling to me, as it is to tens of millions of Americans,” Pence told reporters in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday. “And especially in what appears to be a politically charged environment in New York, where the attorney general and other elected officials have literally campaigned to commit to prosecuting the former president.”

“No one is above the law,” he added. “I’m confident President Trump can take care of himself.”

He joined a slew of other Republicans who called the potential indictment “politically motivated” and an “abuse of power.”

“Here we go again – an outrageous abuse of power by a radical prosecutor who lets violent criminals walk as he pursues his political revenge against President Trump,” President Kevin McCarthy (R-California) tweeted Saturday ).

However, amid Trump’s call for his supporters to protest and “take back our nation” in response to the potential indictment, Pence noted that “violence will not be tolerated.”

“We respect the right of Americans to have their voices heard and to express their frustration over what appears to be a politically motivated lawsuit against the former president,” he said. “But we want to send a very clear message that violence will not be tolerated and that anyone who engages in violence will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer and longtime fixer, compared the former president’s call to protest on Saturday to the “battle cry” he sounded ahead of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. .

“It would have been smart for Donald to write ‘peaceful protest,’ but he doesn’t want a peaceful protest,” Cohen told MSNBC. “He wants him to want another violent clash on his behalf.”

Cohen, who testified before the New York grand jury earlier this week, made the $130,000 payment to Daniels shortly before the 2016 election to quash her story of an alleged affair with Trump. He pleaded guilty in 2018 to campaign finance violations in connection with the payment.

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