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Trump mocks calls for his supporters to stay 'peaceful' and falsely claims that 'this is the Gestapo' in all-caps rant

Donald Trump standing at a podium in front of two American flags.
Former President Donald Trump.Scott Olson/Getty Images
  • Trump ripped into the Manhattan DA in an all-caps Truth Social rant on Thursday.

  • He seemed to mock calls for his supporters to remain "peaceful" as he faces a potential indictment.

  • Trump's incendiary rhetoric over the last few days is reminiscent of the run-up to the Capitol riot.

Former President Donald Trump accused the Manhattan district attorney of being a "Soros backed animal" — an accusation that plays into anti-Semitic tropes — and brushed off calls for his supporters to remain peaceful as he stares in the face of a possible indictment.

In an all-caps rant posted to Truth Social early Thursday, Trump asked why Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg wouldn't drop his office's investigation into an illegal hush-money payment that his then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, says he made at Trump's direction to the adult film star Stormy Daniels in 2016.

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Cohen pleaded guilty in 2018 to multiple felonies connected to the payment, including tax evasion, bank fraud, and campaign finance violations.

"EVERYBODY SAYS THERE IS NO CRIME HERE," the former president wrote Thursday. "I DID NOTHING WRONG!"

He went on to describe Cohen as a "CONVICTED NUT JOB WITH ZERO CREDIBILITY," adding that Bragg "REFUSES TO STOP DESPITE OVERWHELMING EVIDENCE TO THE CONTRARY."

Trump continued, falsely claiming that "THIS IS NO LEGAL SYSTEM, THIS IS THE GESTAPO, THIS IS RUSSIA AND CHINA, BUT WORSE. DISGRACEFUL!"

The former president, who over the weekend called on his followers to "protest" and "take our nation back," also mocked calls for his supporters to stay civil and peaceful.

Bragg, Trump wrote, "IS JUST CARRYING OUT THE PLANS OF THE RADICAL LEFT LUNATICS. OUR COUNTRY IS BEING DESTROYED, AS THEY TELL US TO BE PEACEFUL!"

He claimed without evidence over the weekend that he would be arrested on Tuesday in connection to the Stormy Daniels investigation. He was not arrested that day, and as Insider's Laura Italiano reported, the Manhattan grand jury investigating the hush-money payment will not consider the case for the rest of this week.

The grand jury meets three times a week, and law-enforcement sources told Insider that the panel is not expected to take up the case again until Monday at the earliest, which means Trump will not be indicted this week.

Trump's accusation that Bragg is backed by the billionaire financier George Soros is a somewhat tenuous charge that, to a core audience, will be heard as an anti-Semitic dog whistle. Soros contributed money to a racial justice group, Color of Change, that then donated to Bragg's campaign, as the Washington Post has reported.

The former president's rhetoric over the last several days is reminiscent of the run-up to the deadly January 6, 2021 Capitol riots.

In one infamous December 2020 tweet, Trump told his supporters to converge on the Capitol to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden's victory in the presidential election. "Be there, will be wild!" Trump tweeted at the time. Twitter banned Trump shortly after the riot, citing the risk of further incitement of violence. His account was reinstated after Tesla CEO Elon Musk bought the platform last year.

The Justice Department is also conducting a sprawling investigation into events surrounding the riot, and the special counsel Jack Smith is overseeing aspects of the inquiry that relate to Trump.

Read the original article on Business Insider