June 4, 2023
Trump responds to indictment, calling it “political persecution”

Trump responds to indictment, calling it “political persecution”

GOP lawmakers who have been loyal defenders of Donald Trump are rallying behind the former president after his indictment Thursday by a Manhattan grand jury. 

The charges have not been made public, yet many immediately came to his defense, alleging Trump’s innocence.  

Rep. Jim Jordan, the House Judiciary chairman, tweeted one word: “Outrageous.”

Sen. Ted Cruz said in a tweet, “The Democrat Party’s hatred for Donald Trump knows no bounds. The ‘substance’ of this political persecution is utter garbage. This is completely unprecedented and is a catastrophic escalation in the weaponization of the justice system.”

Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, called the indictment “outrageous.”

“The sham New York indictment of President Donald Trump is one of the clearest examples of extremist Democrats weaponizing government to attack their political opponents,” Scalise tweeted Thursday. 

Even before an indictment was announced, Republicans attacked the Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and accused him of being politically motivated to go after Trump.  

While a number of Trump’s Capitol Hill allies have been quick to defend the former president, one moderate Republican told CNN he trusted the legal system.

“I believe in the rule of law,” US Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska told CNN. “I think we have checks and balances and I trust the system.”

Bacon said it was important to let the process play out. Bacon stressed that his statements were not about whether he supported a Trump indictment or not, but about protecting the legal system.

Some Democrats praised the justice system, saying that the Trump indictment shows “no one is above the law” and others are calling it a “sad day” for the country.

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California called the moment “unique throughout all of American history.”

“If we are to be a nation of laws, then we must apply the law equally and to everyone, regardless of their station. Few nations have lived up to this ideal, and our own country has often fallen far too short. But if we are to have justice, if we are to have a rule of law that is meaningful and protective of our democracy, we must hold the rich and powerful to account, even when those persons hold high office — perhaps most importantly, when they hold high office,” he said in a statement. “To do otherwise, because holding a president accountable is controversial or provocative, will not bring order, but breed disorder, and disrespect of the law.”

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