(The Hill) — CNN political commentator Van Jones said Monday that he would not be surprised if Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg held back on indicting former President Donald Trump — arguing that the prosecutor should wait for the former president to be slapped with more serious charges.
“I think that the heat is on this DA, I think he’s going to make a very sober decision and I would not be surprised if he doesn’t step back from the brink,” Jones said on CNN Monday night.
That “heat” comes after Trump claimed over the weekend that he would be arrested amid the Manhattan DA’s probe into hush-money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election.
Trump and his allies have publicly attacked Bragg, a Democrat, for the possible indictment, saying it would be politically motivated.
House Republicans turned their attention to Bragg after the news of Trump’s possible indictment broke, with Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) promising to investigate whether any federal funds are being used in the probe. A trio of Republican chairs in the chamber requested testimony from Bragg.
“Your actions will erode confidence in the evenhanded application of justice and unalterably interfere in the course of the 2024 presidential election,” House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer (R-Ky.), and House Administration Committee Chair Bryan Steil (R-Wis.) wrote in a letter to Bragg on Monday.
But Trump also faces a slew of other investigations at both the federal and state level, which Jones argued would more likely alter the former president’s legacy.
Trump is also being investigated in Georgia for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election results in the state, and a special grand jury recommended perjury charges against multiple people in the probe, according to a partial and redacted report from the special grand jury released last month. He also faces a Department of Justice probe into his actions on Jan. 6 and his handling of classified documents.
“A charge like this — a porn star payoff seven years ago, somehow tied to the election but not really — it doesn’t seem like the right way to go,” Jones said. “History is not going to judge Donald Trump based on Stormy Daniels. They’re going to judge him based on the election, going to judge him based on the coup attempt.”
Jones finished by saying if he were Bragg, he would wait for potential charges from the Georgia probe to come forward before pursuing Trump in his investigation.
“I would wait for Georgia to go first,” Jones said. “(In) Georgia, you have the president calling in trying to change an election. That seems to me the thing to start with, not this.”