House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has railed against the indictment of former President Donald Trump, pledging to hold the Manhattan district attorney in charge of the case to account.
A New York grand jury voted to indict Trump on March 30 over his alleged role in the payment of hush money to adult film actress Stormy Daniels during the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign. With this prosecution, brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, Trump became the first former president in history to be indicted.
“Alvin Bragg has irreparably damaged our country in an attempt to interfere in our Presidential election. As he routinely frees violent criminals to terrorize the public, he weaponized our sacred system of justice against President Donald Trump. The American people will not tolerate this injustice, and the House of Representatives will hold Alvin Bragg and his unprecedented abuse of power to account,” said McCarthy in a Twitter post.
House GOP lawmakers have started a probe into Bragg and his office over the Trump investigation, which Bragg has characterized as congressional overreach.
While Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has been absent from the Senate as he recovers from falling at a GOP event in Washington a couple of weeks ago, have yet to react, other members of the GOP congressional leadership have expressed outrage over the indictment.
“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,” said House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) on Twitter. “Outrageous.”
“It’s a sad state of affairs when socialist DA’s would rather pursue a politically motivated witch hunt against President Donald Trump than crack down on violent crime. The American people won’t forget,” said House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) in a Twitter post.
“The unprecedented election interference from corrupt Socialist District Attorney Alvin Bragg is a political witch-hunt and a dark day for America,” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, said in a statement. “The radical Far Left will stop at nothing to persecute Joe Biden’s chief political opponent ahead of the 2024 presidential election to suppress the will and voice of the American people.”
Stefanik is the only member of GOP congressional leadership to have endorsed Trump’s candidacy so far.
Trump responded to the indictment, describing it as “political persecution” and a “witch-hunt that will backfire.”
Other Republicans were swift in condemning the criminal case.
“Tonight’s indictment of Donald Trump isn’t about the law. It’s about power. Raw power. It’s the Democrat Party telling the nation they will stop at nothing to control the outcome of the next presidential election. It is an assault on our democracy, pure and simple,” said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.).
“Welcome to the club, @realDonaldTrump. In honor of the fact that the Manhattan DA could indict a ham sandwich next, I will be handing them out tomorrow in Longworth 1504 at noon. All are welcome!” posted Rep. Barry Moore in a Twitter post with a mock certificate.
Welcome to the club, @realDonaldTrump. In honor of the fact that the Manhattan DA could indict a ham sandwich next, I will be handing them out tomorrow in Longworth 1504 at noon. All are welcome! pic.twitter.com/xKguEKsy3x
— Rep. Barry Moore (@RepBarryMoore) March 30, 2023
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, said “Arresting a presidential candidate on a manufactured basis should not happen in America.”
“The left’s continued attempts to weaponize our judicial system erode people’s faith in the American justice system and it needs to stop,” Youngkin added in a Twitter post.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) expressed his support for McCarthy’s efforts to investigate Bragg.
“We are now living in a nation where people can’t trust the legal process, FBI, DOJ, or IRS…and I will do all I can in the Senate to support @SpeakerMcCarthy’s efforts. I call on Senate leadership to do the same,” Scott wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Republican strategists believe that the criminal charges will only boost Trump’s political standing.
“This helps Trump (especially in GOP primary) because it comes off as Bragg/Dems using the Justice system to go after a political opponent. And that won’t sit well with voters,” Ford O’Connell, a lawyer and GOP strategist, told The Epoch Times.
“Legally the case as we currently know it is “pathetic” and outrageous. And if the John Edwards saga is the precedent, Trump will prevail legally & politically.”
Brian Darling, another GOP strategist, concurred.
“I honestly think that this indictment will be a footnote in history and will have zero impact on Republican primary and the 2024 general election,” Darling told The Epoch Times.
“The legal result will be months and months of appeals on motions to dismiss and other procedural hurdles that come up because this is an unprecedented case of first impression. Expect a long drawn out process and the American people quickly losing interest because the stakes in the case are so low.”
From The Epoch Times