Bragg sent the internal memo hours after Trump posted a three-part all-caps social media post saying he could be arrested in the coming days.

NEW YORK – Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is adamantly opposed Donald Trump increasingly hostile rhetoric, telling his staff that the office will not be intimidated or restrained as it nears a decision to impeach the former president.

Bragg sent the internal memo late Saturday night after Trump posted a three-part, all-caps social media message in which he said he could be arrested in the coming days, criticized the district attorney and called on his supporters to protest and “BELIEVE OUR NATION”. BACK!”

Bragg, whose office is subpoenaing witnesses for 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 who he was writing about. The memo appeared at a time when law enforcement officers in New York safety training for the possibility of indicting Trump and standing trial 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 comment” about his office’s investigation.

As Bragg sought to calm concerns about potential threats, reports of protests began to emerge online, including an anti-Bragg rally on Monday organized by the Young Republicans Club of New York.

Law enforcement officials in New York are also closely monitoring online chats that warn of protests and violence if Trump is arrested, four law enforcement officials told The Associated Press. Threats tracked by law enforcement vary in specificity and plausibility, officials said. The messages, mostly posted online and in chat groups, included calls for armed protesters to block law enforcement officers and try to stop any possible arrest, officials said.

Law enforcement officials are also discussing multiple plans to secure lower Manhattan in the event Trump is indicted. Those plans — which officials called preliminary — include the potential to close several streets around the Manhattan Criminal Courthouse and block the streets with large trucks, similar to the security protocol for large events and parades in New York.

The officials could not publicly discuss the details of the security plans and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

Bragg, a Democrat, inherited the years Investigating Trump when he took office in January 2022 and quickly faced criticism — not from Trump but from prosecutors — for abandoning his predecessor’s plans to charge the former president with business fraud.

Bragg bounced off criminal records for Trump’s campaign, the Trump Organizationand his long-time finance manager for an unrelated tax fraud scheme, before moving on to what he called the “next chapter” of the investigation — drawing new attention to hush money payments that have been the subject of repeated federal and state investigations over the past six years.

Now, as that investigation nears its conclusion, Bragg is trying to reassure his 1,600 employees in the face of growing hostility from Trump and his supporters.

In a memo Saturday night, he wrote that the office is working with judicial officers and the NYPD to ensure their safety and that “any specific or credible threats against the office” are being investigated.

The memo and Trump’s earlier social media posts highlighted the contrast of styles between Bragg and Trump — two native New Yorkers but from different eras, neighborhoods and backgrounds, and with very different personalities.

Bragg, an old-school lawyer who prefers to let the work speak for itself, declined to comment publicly on the status of the investigation into the hush money or Trump’s flamboyant messages. His office also declined to comment.

There has been no public announcement of a timeline for a decision on whether to indict Trump, and at least one additional witness is expected to testify, possibly as soon as Monday, further suggesting that a vote on impeachment has yet to take place. .

In a post on Sunday, Trump blasted Bragg — Manhattan’s first black district attorney — as a “reverse racist” and accused him, without evidence, of following orders from the Justice Department and being a pawn of billionaire Democratic donor George Soros, who supported Bragg’s Campaign through Color Of Change PAC.

Bragg, 49, took office 15 months ago amid what he calls a “perfect storm” of rising crime and political pressure, as well as internal conflicts he faced over the direction of the Trump investigation.

A former Harvard-educated federal prosecutor, chief deputy state attorney general and civil rights lawyer, Bragg had legal and executive credentials but little experience navigating New York politics.

His courtroom credentials include prosecuting a rogue FBI agent and overseeing the trials against Trump while a senior official in the state attorney general’s office. His life experiences include growing up in Harlem during the crack epidemic of the 1980s and being held at gunpoint six times – three times by the police.

But shortly after taking office, Republicans and some centrist Democrats called Bragg soft on crime in a “Day One” memo he sent to staff outlining his philosophy on prosecuting — or not prosecuting — certain offenses. Among other things, it said the DA would no longer prosecute certain minor crimes, including subway fare evasion and possession of marijuana.

Former U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, a Republican, ran for governor last year in part on a promise to unseat the independently elected Bragg. The vitriol against Bragg became so bitter — and sometimes racist — that friends worried for his safety.

The New York Post put Bragg on its front page 13 times in his first year in office, including five times in his first month, with mocking headlines like “Happy 2022, criminals!” and “Justice’ Gone Mad.”

It became routine for a Post photographer to pepper Bragg with questions every morning when he arrived at the DA’s office, and he often ignored them. The truth was that while some types of crime in Manhattan went up in 2022, there were fewer murders and shootings compared to the previous year.

Within the district attorney’s office, Bragg has faced disagreements over the direction of the Trump investigation, with complaints resurfaced last month in a book by former prosecutor Mark Pomeranz.

In 2021, Bragg’s predecessor, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., allowed Pomeranz and another vice chairman, Kerry Dunn, to seek impeachment on charges that Trump exaggerated the value of his assets in financial reports he provided to creditors. Vance resigned before the case was concluded, leaving the decision on the charges to Bragg.

Bragg decided not to proceed immediately, citing concerns about the strength of the case. In a recent statement, he said: “Pomeranz’s plane was not ready for takeoff.”

The delay prompted Pomeranz and Dunn to resign, leading some to speculate that Bragg had dropped the case against Trump.

Bragg denied this in a rare public statement last April, writing, “In keeping with the long and proud tradition of white-collar prosecution at the Manhattan DA’s office, we diligently investigate and pursue the facts without fear or favor.”

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