NY GOP leaders outraged at indictment of Donald Trump

New York Republicans have swiftly condemned the indictment of former President Donald J. Trump on over 30 criminal charges related to business fraud.

A grand jury in Manhattan on Thursday afternoon decided to indict the former president — the first in history to face such an event — determining there was enough evidence to bring the case against him to trial. Trump is facing allegations of authorizing a hush-money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels and cover-up scheme. The specific charges remain sealed from public view.

Paying money to someone to remain silent on a specific topic, or paying hush-money as it has been termed for this case, is not illegal. Trump is facing a trial for allegedly mischaracterizing what those funds were meant for, and there is suspicion that he misused his presidential campaign funds to make the payment.

Trump had last week publicly said he was expecting to be arrested, and made some references to potential civil unrest if he was. The grand jury moved more slowly than Trump was anticipating, but now he is expected in court in Manhattan on Tuesday, where he is likely to surrender to law enforcement. It’s the first time a president, former or current, has ever faced a criminal trial, and also the first time a serious presidential candidate has faced a criminal trial during the campaign.

New York’s Republicans responded strongly within hours of the indictment’s public announcement. Congresswoman Elise M. Stefanik, R-Willsboro, the fourth-senior Republican in the House, launched an attack at the Manhattan District Attorney leading the prosecution and called for her supporters to vote for Trump in the presidential race.

Calling it a “dark day for America,” the Congresswoman used language she frequently uses to describe even moderate opponents and accused the Manhattan district attorney of being a “corrupt socialist.”

“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,” she said.

The Congresswoman specifically called for peaceful protest of this indictment, even as Mr. Trump has publicly stated he expected violence if indicted.

Congresswoman Claudia L. Tenney, R-Canandaigua, similarly criticized the Manhattan district attorney in her own statement, using a number of right-wing criticisms including linking the DA to George Soros, a well-known Democratic megadonor.

“Every American should be concerned about this abuse of power and the politicized two-tiered system of justice we now have in America,” Rep. Tenney said. “I once again call on Governor Kathy Hochul to act. Uphold the rule of law and remove Alvin Bragg from office for, among other things, his failure to enforce the law and his blatant politicization of the criminal justice system.”

Even the newly elected chairman of the New York Republican Party Edward F. Cox, who faced significant criticism from the former president during his last term as state party chair, came to the president’s defense following the indictment announcement.

“This is miscarriage of justice, an outrageous violation of democratic norms and a travesty for our politics at home and reputation abroad,” he said.


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