ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — House Speaker Kevin McCarthy urged calm Sunday and said Americans should not protest if former President Donald Trump is indicted and arrested in a secret money investigation in New York. , contradicting Trump, who on Saturday called on his supporters to “protest, take our nation back!”

“I don’t think people should protest this, no. And I think President Trump, if you talk to him, he doesn’t believe that either,» McCarthy, R-Calif., said in response to a question from NBC News during the House Republican retreat in Orlando.

He later said: «Nobody should hurt each other We want peace of mind out there.»

But during the same press conference, McCarthy vociferously defended Trump, dismissed New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation as politically motivated and said he’s not interested in cracking down on rising crime in the city. from New York.

“Attorney after attorney will tell you this is the weakest case there is, trying to turn a misdemeanor into a felony,” McCarthy said, flanked by members of his leadership team on an outdoor patio at the JW Marriott Orlando. , Grande Lakes.

“The last thing we want…is for someone to put their thumb on the scales. [of justice] simply because they disagree with someone else’s political opinion,» McCarthy added. “That’s what’s wrong, and that’s what makes people angry. And this will not hold up in court if this is what he wants to do.»

Trump said Saturday on his Truth Social social media platform that Bragg’s «illegal leaks» to the media suggest that he, the «front runner» for president, will be arrested on Tuesday, and called on his supporters to protest.

Bragg has been investigating allegations that Trump made a secret money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels during his victorious 2016 presidential campaign. Multiple sources said last week that law enforcement agencies in New York were they were preparing for a possible impeachment of Trump as soon as this week.

On Saturday, McCarthy took to Twitter to announce that he was directing GOP-led House committees to launch investigations into whether any federal funding was being used to support the Bragg investigation and «subvert our democracy by interfering in elections.» with politically motivated prosecutions».

A day later in Orlando, McCarthy reiterated his commitment to investigate, saying he had already spoken with Chairman of the Judiciary Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who also heads the federal government’s select subcommittee on Weapons.

«This directly applies to that,» McCarthy told reporters. «I think you’ll see actions from him.»

Asked if Trump should still run for president even if he is ultimately convicted, McCarthy referred to the nation’s founding fathers.

«The Constitution allows it,» he said. «He has a constitutional right to run.»

After McCarthy’s press conference, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican, one of Trump’s top allies, said people have a constitutional right to protest peacefully. She joined McCarthy in urging Trump supporters not to protest an impeachment and said they should join Trump at a March 25 rally in Waco, Texas.

«I’m planning to go; I can’t wait to go there. I’m not going to New York. I’m going to go to Waco, Texas, and join a group of people who support President Trump,» Greene told reporters.

“Because Save America rallies are like one big love fest. We are all saying how much we love America and President Trump. I don’t need to protest.»