ORLANDO, Fla. (The Hill) — Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California sought to tamp down former President Donald Trump’s call for protests in response to a possible arrest of the president in connection to a Manhattan District Attorney investigation.
“I don’t think people should protest this stuff,” McCarthy said in a press conference at the House GOP issues retreat on Sunday when asked about Trump’s statement.
McCarthy suggested that Trump was calling for others to “educate people about what’s going on.”
“He’s not talking in a harmful way,” McCarthy said. “Nobody should harm one another … And this is why you should really make law equal because if that was the case, nothing would happen.”
“If was this to happen, we want calmness out there,” McCarthy said, calling for no “violence or harm.”
Trump said on Truth Social on Saturday that he could be arrested on Tuesday in connection with the Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg’s investigation into a hush-money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign.
“Protest, take our nation back!” Trump said, sparking worries about potential violence.
Trump also encouraged protests over false claims that the 2020 election was stolen on Jan. 6, 2021, when his supporters violently breached the U.S. Capitol.
McCarthy has also condemned Bragg’s investigation and called it a political attack, promising investigations into whether any federal funds were used in connection with the probe.
McCarthy said he expects action from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), chair of the House Judiciary Committee Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of Government, relating to Bragg’s investigation of Trump.
“Lawyer after lawyer after lawyer will tell you this is the weakest case out there,” McCarthy said.
“The last thing we want to have is somebody putting their thumb on the scale simply because they don’t agree with somebody else’s political view. That is what’s wrong, and that’s what infuriates people. And this will not hold up in court,” McCarthy said.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), a supporter of both McCarthy and Trump, has also said that “we don’t need to protest” the potential arrest.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with calling…for protests. Americans have the right to assemble and the right to protest,” Greene told reporters in Orlando on Sunday, adding that Trump “doesn’t have to say peaceful for it to mean peaceful. Of course, he means peaceful.”
Greene said that she would not personally be out protesting any arrest, but plans to support Trump at an upcoming Texas rally.
“I don’t need to protest,” Greene said. “I know what I’m going to do with the 2024 election. I’m going to vote every single Democrat out of office that I possibly can, and I’m going to spend all of my energy fundraising and fighting to end this extreme corruption in America. That’s what I think we should do.”
But Greene added: “People have a right to choose.”