Updated Mar 18, 2023 - Politics & Policy

McCarthy orders probe of district attorney investigating Trump

Kevin McCarthy, wearing a blue suit, white shirt and pink tie.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) on Saturday announced a congressional investigation into the local prosecutors reportedly preparing to indict former President Trump.

Driving the news: Trump said in a Truth Social post on Saturday he expects to be arrested on Tuesday as part of a Manhattan District Attorney investigation into hush money payments he allegedly made to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

What they’re saying: McCarthy accused Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg of “an outrageous abuse of power” and of “pursu[ing] political vengeance against President Trump” in a tweet posted Saturday morning.

  • “I’m directing relevant committees to immediately investigate if federal funds are being used to subvert our democracy by interfering in elections with politically motivated prosecutions,” McCarthy said.
  • Leading GOP hardliners in the House, including Reps. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), signaled support for the probe.
  • "[McCarthy] is right, and I fully support his call for an investigation," tweeted Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.). "No federal dollars should be used to prop up this radical, Soros-backed activist attorney or his gross political attacks."

The big picture: The new probe would fit into a network of investigations House Republicans are pursuing against other government bodies who they’ve accused of “weaponizing” federal resources to target conservatives.

  • Spokespeople for the House Oversight Committee and the Judiciary Committee, which have led most of the probes, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
  • McCarthy and Bragg did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The other side: Democratic lawmakers quickly accused McCarthy of his own abuse of power by using the federal government to crack down on local law enforcement.

  • Rep. Stacey Plaskett (D-V.I.), the ranking member of Judiciary's "weaponization" subcommittee, said McCarthy is trying to "weaponize Congress to interfere in the rule of law and use committees to re-elect the twice impeached former president."
  • “Speaker ... who has no idea what evidence the state DA has in support of grand jury indictment seeks to 'weaponize' the federal government to undermine the rule of law for political purposes," tweeted Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.), another member of the panel.

Go deeper: Timeline: The probe into Trump's alleged hush money payments to Stormy Daniels

Trump predicts he’ll be arrested Tuesday, calls for protests

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