Updated Mar 20, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Ron DeSantis knocks Manhattan prosecutor over possible Trump charges

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to Iowa voters during an event at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on March 10, 2023

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to Iowa voters during an event at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on March 10. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) weighed in Monday on former president Trump's possible indictment, focusing on the Manhattan prosecutor involved in the charges, District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

The big picture: Trump over the weekend predicted that he would be indicted this week and DeSantis, a likely 2024 presidential contender, had not previously commented publicly on the potential charges.

  • "I don't know what's going to happen, but I do know this, the Manhattan district attorney is a Soros-funded prosecutor," DeSantis said Monday, referring to billionaire Democratic investor George Soros.
  • "So he, like other Soros-funded prosecutors, they weaponize their office to impose a political agenda on society at the expense of the rule of law and public safety," he added.
  • The Color of Change PAC, which receives funding from Soros, donated to Bragg's campaign for Manhattan district attorney.

Driving the news: DeSantis, while not mentioning Trump by name, took a shot at the former president's ongoing legal trouble.

  • "Look, I don't know what goes into paying hush money to a porn star to secure silence over some type of alleged affair," DeSantis said.
  • "I just, I can't speak to that."

Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington pushed back against DeSantis for not mentioning the ex-president by name. "Are you kidding me? SAY HIS NAME!" Harrington wrote in a tweet.

  • "What a total fraud he is. He takes a dig at President Trump who is being falsely accused and can’t even say his name."
  • "It proves DeSantis is totally fine with a third world nation arresting their number one political opposition. Not MAGA!" Harrington wrote.
  • Trump has been amping up attacks on DeSantis, believing that they are chipping away at the Florida governor's support, Axios' Mike Allen and Josh Kraushaar report.

Zoom out: Bragg reassured staff over the weekend — after Trump called for protests over his possible arrest — that efforts to intimidate the office would not be tolerated.

Go deeper... Scoop: Trump's 5-part plan to attack DeSantis

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a tweet from Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington and additional background.

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