Earlier on Thursday, we reported that the grand jury in Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case against former President Donald Trump over the hush money paid after an alleged affair with Stormy Daniels had unexpectedly come back with an indictment. It was unexpected because, as my colleague Bonchie wrote, “[i]n the weeks prior, the situation had appeared to deteriorate for District Attorney Alvin Bragg. On Wednesday, it was announced that the grand jury was being sent home for a month.”
But on Thursday, they voted to hand down the indictment, as the New York Times wrote:
A Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Donald J. Trump on Thursday for his role in paying hush money to a porn star, according to four people with knowledge of the matter, a historic development that will shake up the 2024 presidential race and forever mark him as the nation’s first former president to face criminal charges.
The felony indictment, filed under seal by the Manhattan district attorney’s office, will likely be announced in the coming days.
Now, Trump has reacted to the news, The Hill reports:
Former President Trump lashed out on Thursday after he was indicted in an alleged hush money scheme, maintaining his innocence and accusing Democrats and law enforcement officials of “weaponizing our justice system to punish a political opponent.”
“This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history,” Trump said in a statement. “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.”
His statement continued:
“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,” he added.
As expected, the former president pointed at both DA Alvin Bragg and President Joe Biden as being responsible for the investigation that led to Thursday’s felony indictment against him:
Trump sought to case the indictment as a political asset, claiming that the charges would “backfire massively” on both President Biden and Alvin Bragg (D), the Manhattan district attorney whose office is behind the investigation into Trump’s conduct.
“The American people realize exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here. Everyone can see it,” Trump said. “So our Movement, and our Party – united and strong – will first defeat Alvin Bragg, and then we will defeat [President] 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!”
Since this is the first time a former or current president has been indicted in a criminal case, The Hill notes, “it’s unclear how the matter will play out on the campaign trail.” There are varied opinions on whether this will favor or hinder Trump’s fortunes in 2024. We’ll keep you posted.
Editor’s Note: If they can come for a former president actively campaigning to take back the White House, they can come for us, and they can come for you.
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