WASHINGTON — A New York criminal grand jury has indicted former President Donald Trump, according to multiple news reports Thursday night citing persons familiar with the case.
A former president has never been indicted before. Trump is also a Republican candidate in the 2024 race for the presidency.
The New York Times and Washington Post reported Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has been investigating payments Trump paid to adult film actor Stormy Daniels in return for her silence during the 2016 election about an affair.
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Members of Congress quickly began to react, along partisan lines, as news reached them Thursday.
Many House Republicans who have allied themselves with Trump took aim at Bragg. Reps. Tim Walberg of Michigan, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Matt Gaetz of Florida accused Bragg of targeting the former president.
“A majority of Americans know Alvin Bragg’s witch hunt is a politically motivated,” Gaetz wrote on Twitter.
Biggs, the leader of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, said the indictment by an “extremist” prosecutor shows that all Americans are in danger.
“Trump Derangement Syndrome has infiltrated our judicial system and if they can come from him, they can come for anyone,” he tweeted.
Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, tweeted, “Outrageous.”
Colorado GOP Rep Lauren Boebert tweeted the indictment “is another political witch hunt targeting the people’s President.”
California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who led one of the impeachment trials against Trump, wrote on Twitter the “indictment of a former president is unprecedented.”
“But so too is the unlawful conduct in which Trump has been engaged,” Schiff wrote. “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.”
Rep. Ruben Gallego, a Phoenix Democrat who is running for U.S. Senate in 2024, said that America is committed to “the rule of law,” and he urged people to temper their reactions.
“We should wait to hear from the grand jury before jumping to conclusions,” he said in a written statement.
North Carolina Democratic Rep. Alma Adams released a statement saying that the promise that “no one is above the law” in the United States was kept with Trump’s indictment.
“Mr. Trump, like every other American, is entitled to due process,” Adams wrote. “That is another core promise of our Constitution. The State of New York has spent years meticulously building their case, and they secured an indictment not from political power brokers or the media, but from a grand jury of ordinary citizens.”
Sen. Thom Tillis, a North Carolina Republican, wrote on Twitter that he was skeptical .
“This is the same District Attorney who is notorious for letting violent criminals off the hook in Manhattan, but has been laser-focused on pursuing a politicized prosecution of a former president,” he wrote. “Politics should never tip the scales of justice, and Congress has every right to investigate the conduct and decision-making of the Manhattan D.A.’s office.”
And Kari Lake, the Trump-endorsed failed Republican candidate for Arizona governor, said this was a political prosecution like one would “expect to see out of third-world dictatorships or banana republicans (sic).”
“This is a dark moment in the history of our nation,” she added.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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