House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told reporters Tuesday the case Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is trying to build against former President Donald Trump is "just political" and used "personal money" which should not lead to prosecution.
"I think you know in your heart of hearts that this is just political," McCarthy told reporters at a House Republican retreat in Orlando, Florida, The Washington Post reported. "And I think that's what the rest of the country thinks. And we're kind of tired of that. We're not coming here to defend President Trump, we're coming to defend equal justice."
Bragg empaneled a grand jury in New York to look at possible criminal charges against the former president regarding a $130,000 payment, through his attorney at the time Michael Cohen, to porn star Stormy Daniels in 2016 to keep her from going public about an alleged affair the two had years before.
According to the Post, Bragg is close to deciding whether or not to indict Trump in the case, which would mark the first time in U.S. history a current or former president faced a criminal indictment.
Bragg is using a New York statute relating to falsifying business records, which is normally a misdemeanor with a two-year statute of limitations, coupled with a possible violation of federal campaign finance law to expand the charge to a felony with a five-year statute of limitations and a possible four-year prison term.
The case, according to the report, centers on how the Trump Organization recorded the transaction where Cohen was reimbursed for his outlay of funds to Daniels.
"This was personal money," McCarthy said
"This was seven years ago, statute of limitations."
McCarthy took the opportunity to compare the potential case against Trump to the Hillary Clinton 2016 campaign and Democratic National Committee where they paid for the infamous Steele dossier, but logged the spending as a "legal expense," the report said.
Clinton's campaign and the DNC eventually reached an agreement with the Federal Election Commission and were fined $8,000 and $150,000 respectively, but there were no criminal prosecutions in that case, according to the Post.
"We live in America, and it should be equal justice," McCarthy said.
New York and federal law enforcement officials were meeting to work out security concerns should Trump be indicted and have to appear in the city for processing and court, NBC News reported last week.
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