When news broke on Thursday that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office confirmed a multiple-count indictment of former president Donald Trump, many Republican lawmakers backed Trump, including Texas congressman Brian Babin (R-Woodville). Babin issued a statement through Twitter following news of the indictment, calling it “purely political theater.”
Babin further stated that New York DA Alvin Bragg “won’t prosecute violent criminals but is eager to weaponize the justice system for attempted political gain.” Texas Senator Ted Cruz also weighed in on what he saw as the justice system being weaponized and called the indictment a “catastrophic escalation” in that alleged weaponization.
Trump has reportedly been under investigation for some time for allegedly paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels over an alleged affair that occurred prior to Trump’s 2016 successful bid for the presidency.
The exact charge or charges are not public at this time, and reportedly Bragg’s office said it has contacted Trump’s attorney to set up a surrender and an arraignment at a later date.
The news makes Trump the first former president in the country’s history to be under criminal indictment. Despite this, Trump continues to push another bid for the White House in 2024. Recent polls show that Trump is currently favored by potential voters over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis, although polling high among likely Republican voters, has not announced his candidacy for the presidency. President Joe Biden, a Democrat, is expected to run for re-election.
Other Republican lawmakers rushed to back Trump on Thursday. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) called the indictment a “sham,” and a clear example of “extremist Democrats weaponizing government to attack their political opponents,” which he stated in a tweet.
Kevin McCarthy, the Speaker of the House referred to the episode as an “injustice” that the American people “will not tolerate,” and criticized Bragg.
Trump issued a social media statement, himself, through his own Truth Social platform. He wrote that “Thugs and Radical Left Monsters have just INDICATED (sic) the President of the United States of America,” and referred to the Grand Jury’s action toward him as an “attack on our once free and fair elections,” stating that he is the “leading Republican Candidate, by far, for the 2024 Nomination for President.”
Sources indicate that Trump has said he plans to fight the charges against him.
The issue of the hush money for the alleged affair in of itself is not illegal, but what is being reported by outlets such as the New York Times is that the charges likely are related to business fraud and campaign finance violations. As of Friday morning, it was being reported that Trump faces more than 30 counts in the indictment handed down from the Grand Jury.
The reaction from lawmakers of the Democratic party emphasized the rule of law and fairness. New York Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY) tweeted that “No one is above the law,” while Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) referred to Trump’s indictment as a “somber” moment for the nation.
“As we see this process unfold, I hope Americans can find faith in our judicial system and take heart in knowing justice benefits us all.”
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