By TN Ashok
New York, Mar 27 (IANS): Former US President Donald Trump seemed little fazed by the possible indictment on the lower Manhattan Tax Evasion case following Attorney General Letitia James prosecution even as the city and rest of the US has gone on high alert expecting disturbance from supporters.
Trump is quite calm and has repeatedly insisted, especially Saturday night, that he was not upset by expected criminal charges that might arise from the Manhattan district attorney's investigation into his role in paying hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels as he returned from a campaign rally in Waco, Texas.
Trump's responses to questions suggested possible potential damage to his image, media reports said, he came across as someone angry that his good vibrations with his "Make America Great Again" base in Texas could be interrupted by the reality of a possible indictment as soon as this week.
He claimed in a recorded interview with reporters aboard his Trump Force One plane that he was unafraid about the investigation even as he attacked the case and attacked media reporting about the case.
"I'm not frustrated by it. It's a fake investigation. We did nothing wrong... I told you that," the former Pesident said before proceeding to lash out at the NBC News reporter on the plane who asked if he was frustrated.
"This is fake news, and NBC is one of the worst. Don't ask me any more questions."
Trump admitted he had actually no insight into the investigations. "I have no idea what's going to happen. They've already dropped the case, from what I understand."
Trump went on to attack the investigation insisting the case is over even as he asserted it was fake though not supported by any concrete evidence.
"If anything ever happened with the case, it's a fake case. This is a fake case. They have absolutely nothing. They have it in reverse. They should indict Michael Cohen for all the lies that he told," he was quoted by the British newspaper Independent. as he referred to the attorney who allegedly made the hush money payment .
"They may not do that, but that's what should be happening.
The case is about the sum of $130,000 that Trump reportedly paid to Daniels through Cohen in the final days of the 2016 campaign.
Trump later allegedly reimbursed Cohen with $35,000 checks using his personal funds, put down in account books as legal expenses. Cohen later pleaded guilty in 2018 to federal crimes.
However, it's still vague what charges the district attorney Alvin Bragg might seek against Trump, though some members of his legal team believe the most likely scenario involves a base charge of falsifying business records coupled with potential tax fraud because Trump would not have paid taxes on the payments.
The remarks from Trump on the flight came during an interview with four reporters. The Guardian claimed it obtained the recording after the reporter, confirmed to travel with the former president, was erased off the manifest the day before the trip over recent reporting that the campaign disliked.
The former President was buoyed from a 2024 campaign perspective, noting how he had moved ahead in recent polls amid news of an expected indictment and the Republican base's clamoring to his defence.
"We've had the best polls we've ever had," Trump said.
Using a derisive nickname for Florida governor and expected 2024 candidate Ron DeSantis, Trump said: "Ron DeSanctimonious is crashing. They're already looking for somebody to take his place."