Anthony Cole, a former Department of Justice (DOJ) official, said on Sunday that former President Trump’s remarks about his possible looming arrest in New York was an attempt to “intimidate local prosecutors” and would “poison” the jury pool.
“What I think is happening here is [Trump] trying to, number one, intimidate local prosecutors and number two, I think it also has the effect of poisoning a jury pool,” Cole, who used to head the DOJ’s Department of Public Affairs, said in an interview with Jonathan Capehart on MSNBC.
Trump said on social media over the weekend that he expected to be arrested in connection with a Manhattan district attorney’s investigation into hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. Trump blasted the prosecutor as corrupt and called on his supporters to protest. The remarks hearken back to the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, when rioting broke out after Trump’s calls for protests.
Cole said on Sunday that the former president’s “incendiary rhetoric” troubled him the most.
“The thing that troubles me the most about what we saw over the last 24 hours is this type of incendiary rhetoric,” Cole said. “It’s … something we have of course seen before on Jan. 6 leading into the violent attack on the Capitol.”
An indictment would make Trump the first sitting or former president to face criminal charges. The former president continued his social media barrage on Sunday, accusing President Biden of having “stuffed” the Manhattan district attorney’s office with political allies.
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