WASHINGTON: Former US President Donald Trump warned of potential “death and destruction” in case of his indictment, hours after New York prosecutors probing his hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels said they would not be intimidated.

The post on Trump’s Truth Social media site was the latest in a string of verbal attacks on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg since last Saturday when Trump wrongly predicted he would be arrested three days later.

The ex-president, who is seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, claims his defeat in 2020 was the ‘result of fraud’ — a claim that inspired his followers to launch a deadly Jan 6, 2021, assault on the US Capitol in a failed bid to stop Congress from certifying the election of Democratic President Joe Biden, who bested the Republican Trump by more than seven million votes.

“What kind of person can charge another person, in this case a former President of the United States, who got more votes than any sitting President in history, and leading candidate (by far!) for the Republican Party nomination, with a crime, when it is known by all that no crime has been committed, & also known that potential death & destruction in such a false charge could be catastrophic for our country?” Trump wrote on early Friday.

Ex-president to kick off election campaign at site of deadly anti-government siege in Texas

Bragg’s office, in a letter to Republican committee chairmen in Congress on Thursday, challenged their standing to investigate his office and said Trump had “created a false expectation that he would be arrested” in his Saturday post.

The letter called the chairmen’s request for communications, documents and testimony an “unlawful incursion into New York’s sovereignty.” Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she received the money in exchange for keeping silent about a sexual encounter she had with Trump in 2006.

Trump’s address

Meanwhile, Donald Trump was set to stage his first presidential campaign rally on Saturday at the site of a deadly 1993 standoff between an anti-government cult and federal agents as he rails against multiple criminal probes threatening his bid for the White House.

Waco, Texas — which is marking the 30th anniversary of the siege — has become a touchstone for far-right activists glorying in its history of resistance against perceived government overreach.

The rally comes amid a torrent of increasingly bellicose statements by Trump claiming a “witch hunt” by prosecutors he refers to as “human scum” who are pursuing cases against him in New York, Washington and Atlanta.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2023

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