Sen. Rand Paul says Manhattan DA leading Trump investigation should 'be put in jail'
WASHINGTON – Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said the Manhattan district attorney leading the investigation into former President Donald Trump's alleged hush-money payments should "be put in jail."
Paul's comments came in a tweet Tuesday and follows the former president's prediction that he would be indicted for his alleged role in making a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels just before the 2016 presidential election to silence her about an affair with him.
"A Trump indictment would be a disgusting abuse of power," Paul said in the tweet.
The Kentucky senator did not provide any further details or context on the tweet, and Trump had not been formally indicted by the district attorney's office as of Tuesday afternoon.
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GOP calls for Alvin Bragg testimony
Three Republican House committee chairs have called on the Manhattan District Attorney, Alvin Bragg, to testify about the probe into Trump's payments and the possible charges. The district attorney’s office in Manhattan started investigating Trump in 2018, four years before Bragg took office.
Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, head of the Judiciary Committee; James Comer of Kentucky, head of the Oversight and Accountability Committee; and Bryan Steil of Wisconsin, head of the Administration Committee, sent a letter to Bragg saying his actions could "erode confidence in the evenhanded application of justice."
“You are reportedly about to engage in an unprecedented abuse of prosecutorial authority: the indictment of a former President of the United States and current declared candidate for that office,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter. "In light of the serious consequences of your actions, we expect that you will testify about what plainly appears to be a politically motivated prosecutorial decision."
They set a March 23 deadline for Bragg to testify.
More: What is an indictment? Why would Trump get arrested? Here's what we know about the process
Democrats to GOP: 'Quit meddling'
Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, the top Democrat on the oversight committee, said the Republican chairs acted outside their powers to influence a pending criminal investigation at the state level.
“The Republicans' letter to the Manhattan District Attorney represents an astonishing and unprecedented abuse of power as they attempt to use Congressional resources to interfere in an ongoing criminal investigation at another level of government and obstruct a possible criminal indictment," he said in a statement.
New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said Republicans "tie themselves in knots" protecting the former president.
"Jim Jordan and Kevin McCarthy: hands off NYC & quit meddling in ongoing investigations," he tweeted.
Contributing: Bart Jansen
Opinion: Donald Trump wants you to think he's constantly the victim. Maybe he's just a bad dude.
Opinion: Will Trump get arrested? Between sketchy witnesses and the law, case comes up short.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Rand Paul says Manhattan DA should be 'put in jail' for Trump probe