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Donald Trump's threats toward Black prosecutors spark violence worries

Former President Donald Trump has verbally attacked two district attorneys and an attorney general, all of whom are investigating him.
Donald Trump's threats toward Black prosecutors spark violence worries
Posted at 1:58 PM, Mar 30, 2023

As the legal scrutiny facing former President Donald Trump has grown, so have his attacks on the prosecutors investigating him for possible crimes.

"You will be vindicated and proud and the thugs and criminals who are corrupting our justice system will be defeated, discredited and totally disgraced," Trump said.

With a potentially historic indictment looming from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, the former president has lashed out at the prosecutor online, calling him "racist," posting a meme with Bragg staring down a baseball bat and finally saying any criminal charges could lead to "death and destruction."

Trump has also leveled these "reverse racism" attacks at Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and New York Attorney General Letitia James. All three are Black prosecutors, carrying out historic litigation against the former president.

Melba Pearson, a civil rights and criminal law attorney and the former president of the National Black Prosecutors Association, says this retort of "racism" specifically aimed at Black prosecutors is purposeful.

"This is not a brand new tactic," Pearson said. "It's just part of this bigger pattern of trying to attack the messenger and discredit the process to take away the culpability you face for whatever actions that you engaged in." 

SEE MORE: What we know and don't know about a possible Trump indictment

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries said Trump's words have a more practical impact: violence.

"Reckless, reprehensible and irresponsible — it's dangerous, and if he keeps it up, he's going to get someone killed," Jeffries said.

In the days since Trump announced he would be arrested, the Manhattan district attorney's office has received several death threats, including bomb threats to the building and a powdery substance attached to a letter with the words: "Alvin, we are going to kill you."

In response, the city of New York has added extra security to the building, including bomb-sniffing dogs and metal barricades.

In Georgia, where Trump is being investigated for meddling in the 2020 election, the Fulton County prosecutor outfitted her staff with bulletproof vests.

Trump supporters say these investigations are politically motivated.

"I don't believe that Bragg would be doing this if Donald Trump were not running for president," said Republican Rep. James Comer, of Kentucky.

And some lawmakers are taking legislative action to block prosecutors they disagree with.

One Georgia bill proposed by state Republicans would give a state commission the power to unilaterally remove a duly elected district attorney. The bill has already passed the Georgia House and Senate and is waiting for Gov. Brian Kemp's signature.

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