Former South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley said the New York case against her 2024 rival, former President Donald Trump, appears to be motivated by vengeance.
“Everything I have seen from this New York district attorney is that this would be something he’d be doing for political points, and I think what we know is when you get into political prosecutions like this, it’s more about revenge than it is about justice,” Haley told Fox News host Bret Baier on Monday.
“I think the country would be better off talking about things that the American public cares about than to sit there and have to deal with some revenge by some political people in New York,” she added.
Haley, who served as Trump’s U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, joins other Republicans campaigning for the GOP presidential nomination or are expected to join the race to warn against an unprecedented criminal indictment of a former president and criticize Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat. The prosecutor is investigating Trump in connection to hush money payments to former porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election cycle. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
Trump said over the weekend he expected to be arrested on Tuesday, but a spokesperson for the former president later said Trump received no “notification” other than “illegal leaks” to the media — likely referring to reports about law enforcement preparing for the possibility of an indictment.
“Right now, it’s rumor. And I certainly hope it’s not the case,” Haley said when asked about the prospect of Trump being indicted and arrested.
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, another declared 2024 candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, said it would be a “national disaster” for Trump to be indicted.
Among Republicans flirting with a 2024 campaign is former Vice President Mike Pence, who told ABC News that he feels Trump is being subjected to a “politically charged prosecution here. And I, for my part, I just feel like it’s just not what the American people want to see.”
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Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis chided Bragg as one of the “Soros-funded prosecutors” who “weaponize their office to impose a political agenda on society at the expense of the rule of law and public safety.”
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who once served as a federal prosecutor, said, “being indicted never helps anybody” but also stated Bragg has “failed miserably and all of a sudden he wants to get tough on Donald Trump.”
Trump, who announced his third presidential campaign in November, faces multiple investigations that could lead to charges. Experts told ABC News Trump could still be elected president if he is indicted or convicted, but they warned such a development would present challenges to the candidate.
In a flurry of statements and posts to his Truth Social account over the past few days, Trump took aim at Bragg.
“There was no crime, period,” Trump said in one post. He also expressed the view that there is “Prosecutorial Misconduct and Interference with an Election.”
In an internal message that leaked over the weekend, Bragg told employees in his office, “we do not tolerate attempts to intimidate our office or threaten the rule of law in New York.”
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