Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is standing firm against Donald Trump’s increasingly hostile rhetoric, telling his staff that the office won’t be intimidated or deterred as it nears a decision on charging the former president.
Bragg sent an internal memo late Saturday hours after Trump unleashed a three-part, all-caps social media post in which he said he could be arrested in the coming days, criticized the district attorney and encouraged his supporters to protest and “TAKE OUR NATION BACK!”
Bragg, whose office has been calling witnesses to a grand jury investigating hush money paid on Trump’s behalf during his 2016 campaign, did not mention the Republican by name, but made it clear that’s who he was writing about. The memo came as law enforcement officials in New York City are making security preparations for the possibility Trump is charged and appears in court in Manhattan.
“We do not tolerate attempts to intimidate our office or threaten the rule of law in New York,” Bragg wrote, referring to “press attention and public comments” regarding an ongoing investigation by his office.
As Bragg sought to assuage concerns about potential threats, posts about protests began popping up online, including a rally on Monday against Bragg organized by the New York Young Republican Club.
Law enforcement officials in New York are also closely monitoring online chatter warning of protests and violence if Trump is arrested, four law enforcement officials told The Associated Press. The threats that law enforcement agents are tracking vary in specificity and credibility, the officials said. Mainly posted online and in chat groups, the messages have included calls for armed protesters to block law enforcement officers and attempt to stop any potential arrest, the officials said.
The law enforcement officials are also discussing a multitude of security plans for lower Manhattan in the event Trump is indicted. Those plans — which the officials described as preliminary — include the potential for closing down several streets around the Manhattan criminal courthouse and blocking streets with large trucks, similar to security protocols in place for major events and parades in New York.
The officials could not discuss details of the security plans publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.
Bragg, a Democrat, inherited the yearslong Trump investigation when he took office in January 2022 and quickly faced criticism — not from Trump, but from holdover prosecutors for backing away from his predecessor’s plans to charge the former president with business-related fraud.
Bragg rebounded with convictions for Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, and his longtime finance chief for an unrelated tax fraud scheme before pivoting to what he’s called the probe’s “next chapter” — bringing fresh scrutiny to the hush money payments, which have been the subject of repeated federal and state-level inquiries over the last six years.
Now, as that probe nears its denouement, Bragg is seeking to reassure his 1,600 employees in the face of increasing hostility from Trump and his supporters.
In his memo Saturday night, he wrote that the office is working with court officers and New York City police to ensure they are safe and that “any specific or credible threats against the office” are investigated.
The memo and Trump’s earlier social media postings underscored the contrast in styles between Bragg and Trump — two native New Yorkers, but from different eras, neighborhoods and backgrounds, and with exceedingly disparate personas.
There has been no public announcement of a time frame for a decision on charging Trump and at least one additional witness is expected to testify, likely Monday, further indicating that no vote to indict has yet been taken.
In a post Sunday, Trump lambasted Bragg — Manhattan’s first Black district attorney — as a “Racist in Reverse," and accused him, without evidence, of taking orders from the Justice Department and being a pawn for billionaire Democratic donor George Soros, who supported Bragg’s campaign through the Color Of Change PAC.
A Harvard-educated former federal prosecutor, chief deputy state attorney general and civil rights lawyer, Bragg came equipped with legal and management credentials, but not much experience navigating New York City politics.
His courtroom bona fides include prosecuting a rogue FBI agent and overseeing lawsuits against Trump while a high-ranking official at the state attorney general’s office. His life experience includes growing up in Harlem during the 1980s crack cocaine epidemic and being held at gunpoint six times — three times by police.