Former President Donald Trump's warning last week that there could be "potential death and destruction" if he is indicted in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Braggs' grand-jury investigation was an "example of him reminding us" of what could potentially happen, former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said Monday on Newsmax.
"Obviously, the president communicates in his own unique way," Whitaker, who served under Trump, told Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "I think this is just an example of him reminding us a lot of people that follow him, of what could potentially happen if this charge goes forward."
Whitaker said he's reminded of when in 1943 Attorney General Robert Jackson said the "most dangerous power a prosecutor has is to target an individual instead of using the law in following the investigation and the facts, and ensuring that the priorities of the prosecutor are there in the right place."
That should come as a reminder to the public and Bragg, said Whitaker, because "not only is there most likely no crime that had been committed here by Donald Trump," but "the legal proceedings will bring heartache and pain" to the U.S. while it's facing many challenges.
Whitaker added that when he was at the Department of Justice when the U.S. Attorney's office in New York's Southern District examined the same case with Trump in connection with hush-money payments made to adult movie actress Stormy Daniels, the DOJ declined to move forward.
"I just don't think this case should proceed," Whitaker said. "I think that Alvin Bragg is obviously doing a lot of additional investigation because he doesn't have the goods that he thought he had last week."
The change came, said Whitaker, when Robert Costello, who once represented Bragg's star witness, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, testified on Monday.
The grand jury has reconvened in the case after taking a break last week, and that means this week, Bragg and his team will try to convince at least 12 members of the 23-member grand jury to vote for an indictment.
"That takes convincing a jury of 12 citizens beyond a reasonable doubt that crime has been committed by this individual, and I just don't think they're going to be able to meet that," Whitaker said.
Meanwhile, members of Congress, led by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, are demanding information from Bragg, which he is refusing to give, stating that the matter is out of the jurisdiction of members of the U.S. government.
Whitaker, though, said Congress has "almost unfettered power to look into whatever they want to," and in this case, they can "certainly look into the federal aspects of whether resources whether individuals, whether prosecutorial or evidence from federal investigations have been used."
Trump had announced that he was going to be arrested a week ago Tuesday, but Whitaker said there is no way to predict what will happen as "it's all unprecedented."
"We've kind of gone off the rails a little bit in these regards where you can't predict because you have individuals that aren't behaving, like Alvin Bragg, in the traditional way that a prosecutor would behave," said Whitaker.
"I don't think that ultimately this case proceeds forward. I just think it's too flawed, and I think Alvin Bragg is smart enough, or at least I hope he's smart enough, that he realizes what this will do to our country. The proverbial saying: the juice isn't worth the squeeze."
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