Donald Trump became the first former U.S. President to ever be indicted for a crime on Thursday.
A Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Donald Trump on charges involving payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence claims of an extramarital sexual encounter.
The indictment, confirmed Thursday by Joe Tacopina, a lawyer for Trump, and other people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to discuss sealed criminal charges, is an extraordinary development after years of investigations into his business, political and personal dealings.
In bringing the charges, the Manhattan district attorney, Alvin Bragg, is embracing an unusual case that had been investigated by two previous sets of prosecutors, both of which declined to take the politically explosive step of seeking Trump’s indictment.
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Leaders from across the political spectrum have been reacting to news of the former president’s indictment, including Trump himself.
You can read the reactions below:
“This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history. From the time I came down the golden escalator at Trump Tower, and even before I was sworn in as your President of the United States, the Radical Left Democrats - the enemy of the hard-working men and women of this Country - have been engaged in a Witch-Hunt to destroy the Make America Great Again movement. You remember it just like I do: Russia, Russia, Russia; the Mueller Hoax; Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine; Impeachment Hoax 1; Impeachment Hoax 2; the illegal and unconstitutional Mar-a-Lago raid; and now this.
“The Democrats have lied, cheated and stolen in their obsession with trying to ‘Get Trump,’ but now they’ve done the unthinkable - indicting a completely innocent person in an act of blatant Election Interference.
“Never before in our Nation’s history has this been done. The Democrats have cheated countless times over the decades, including spying on my campaign, but weaponizing our justice system to punish a political opponent, who just so happens to be a President of the United States and by far the leading Republican candidate for President, has never happened before. Ever.
“Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who was hand-picked and funded by George Soros, is a disgrace. Rather than stopping the unprecedented crime wave taking over New York City, he’s doing Joe Biden’s dirty work, ignoring the murders and burglaries and assaults he should be focused on. This is how Bragg spends his time!
“I believe this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden. The American people realize exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here. Everyone can see it. So our Movement, and our Party - united and strong - will first defeat Alvin Bragg, and then we will defeat Joe Biden, and we are going to throw every last one of these Crooked Democrats out of office so we can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”Donald Trump
The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head.— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 30, 2023
It is un-American.
The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is…
President Donald Trump always fought for us. He puts the American people above corrupt interests. For that reason alone, the powerful will never stop coming for him.— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) March 30, 2023
A majority of Americans know Alvin Bragg’s witch hunt is a politically motivated https://t.co/jxF97B2x8U…
The Democrat Party’s hatred for Donald Trump knows no bounds. The “substance” of this political persecution is utter garbage.— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 30, 2023
This is completely unprecedented and is a catastrophic escalation in the weaponization of the justice system.
1/2 The NY Grand jury’s decision to indict Pres Trump is again another example of Dems weaponization of justice system. The Soros backed NY DA is trying to escalate a case other courts would not even take up.— Cory Mills (@CoryMillsFL) March 30, 2023
A week ago a video circulated of a lunatic harassing a family on a New York subway. He hurled racial slurs (the family was white) and threatened them. Alvin Bragg thinks that man should walk free and Donald Trump should go to jail for a fake misdemeanor. It’s despicable.— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) March 30, 2023
Corrupt NY Attorneys are following through on their political vendetta against President Trump.— Rick Scott (@ScottforFlorida) March 30, 2023
They are choosing to waste time attacking a conservative when America has bigger problems to fix.
Just to name a few…
The indictment of a former president is unprecedented.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) March 30, 2023
But so too is the unlawful conduct in which Trump has been engaged.
A nation of laws must hold the rich and powerful accountable, even when they hold high office.
Especially when they do.
To do otherwise is not democracy.