The unprecedented indictment of former President Donald Trump triggered a predictable flood of polarized political reactions on Thursday evening, with Republicans condemning and Democrats celebrating the decision by the Manhattan grand jury.
One by one in the hours that followed, all of the Republican hopefuls for the White House in 2024 defended the former president. Though not surprising, the unity among Trump’s political opponents is a twist in the years-long drama that offers a glimpse into the state of the 2024 presidential primary and the next act in Trump-era American politics.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the current front-runner in the field of Republicans looking to oust Trump in the primary, called the move by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg un-American. Former Vice President Mike Pence, speaking on CNN the same evening, called it “a bad decision by a political prosecutor.” Nikki Haley, who unlike Pence and DeSantis has made her presidential bid official, said “this is more about revenge than it is about justice.”
In the hard-knocks arena of a political primary, an indictment against the front-runner would usually create an opening for the rest of the pack to pounce. But the unusual unity among the opponents suggests this is no usual indictment.
The former president views himself as the primary target of the so-called weaponization. In a statement responding to news of the indictment, he listed the prior episodes in the drama: special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, the two impeachment trials, and the raid of his personal residence in Mar-a-Lago.
“This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history,” Trump said in response to the indictment.
In challenging Trump for the 2024 GOP nomination, all of the contenders have to play a field in which the former president enjoys widespread loyalty from the Republican voter base. While the base has varying views on Trump’s blow-for-blow political style, the voters are passionate about Trump’s agenda for the nation. As a result, candidates who side with the Manhattan district attorney, even by declining to condemn the prosecution, risk alienating a portion of the base and imperiling an already narrow path to the nomination.
The impact of the indictment on the 2024 primary may be further diminished by the legal nature of the case, which reportedly relies on a legal theory untested in the courts.
“I honestly think that this indictment will be a footnote in history and will have zero impact on the Republican primary and the 2024 general election,” Brian Darling, a Republican strategist, 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.”
The political firestorm over the case has already extended far beyond the legal realm. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said lawmakers would hold Bragg “accountable” for his actions. Republican chairmen of the House judiciary, oversight, and administration committees are already conducting oversight into the district attorney’s prosecution. The chairmen pressed for more records on Bragg’s work in a letter on March 25, pointing out that both Bragg and the judge in New York who will oversee Trump’s case earned their posts by winning popular political elections in an overwhelmingly Democrat jurisdiction.
The letter from the chairmen highlights the aspect of the Trump indictment which may be playing into each 2024 contender’s decision to defend the former president. Those who are serious about winning could be facing the prospect of similar prosecutions, the three senior Republican lawmakers argue.
“If state or local prosecutors are able to engage in politically motivated prosecutions of Presidents of the United States (former or current) for personal acts, this could have a profound impact on how Presidents choose to exercise their powers while in office,” Reps. James Comer (R-Ky.), Bryan Steil (R-Wisc.), and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) wrote.
“For example, a President could choose to avoid taking action he believes to be in the national interest because it would negatively impact New York City for fear that he would be subject to a retaliatory prosecution in New York City.”
No prominent Democrat politician voiced agreement with Trump’s Republican 2024 opponents. The top Democrats in the House and Senate said the indictment is proof that the rule of law, not politics, is at play.
“Donald Trump is subject to the same laws as every American. He will be able to avail himself of the legal system and a jury, not politics, to determine his fate according to the facts and the law,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Twitter.
“The preeminence of the rule of law is central to the integrity of our democracy. It must be applied equally without fear or favor,” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said on Twitter.
According to Democrat Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz, the legal ramifications of the case could nonetheless spell trouble for Republicans and Democrats alike.
“What’s really unprecedented is not the indictment of a past president, but the indictment of a potential future president who is running against the head of the party of the man who indicted him,” Dershowitz told The Epoch Times. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
“It really endangers the rule of law for all Americans. Today, it’s Trump; tomorrow, it’s a Democrat,” Dershowitz added. “The day after tomorrow, it’s your uncle Charlie, or your niece, or your nephew.”
Gary Bai and Mark Tapscott contributed to this report.
“The preeminence of the rule of law is central to the integrity of our democracy. It must be applied equally without fear or favor,” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said on Twitter.”
The lies, cons, deceptions, immorality, hypocrisy and treachery of the treasonous, woke, socialist Democrat Party and their Democrat RINOs know no bounds.
Nancy Pelosi (former speaker of the House of Rep.) admitted an unfortunate truth about her
Orchestrate and Fabricated President Trump’s impeachment “farce”
– It hinges on witness’s “allegations” not “proof”.
It’s Not A Question” Of “Proof”, It’s About “Allegations”
The reign of the Socialist Democrat Party State Dictatorship is just getting started.
Unless WE the PEOPLE destroy this Democrat Party!
The “Socialist Democrat Party State”, their political FBI & IRS Gestapo, Woke and Cancel Culture are just getting started.
You will obey, be loyal and support the policies of the “Socialist Democrat Party State” or you will be classified as “Enemies of the State” and “Domestic Terrorists”.
you are spot on scruffy but are there enough folks paying attention and do they care?
Not on the left..
The Democrat Crime Organization has gone fullbore Marxist Third World Tyrant. With Fat Alvin’s idiotic move yesterday he totally destroyed the Bill of Rights and the letter of law in America. Of course according to Bath House Barry the Democrats hate the Bill of Rights anyway because it prevents them from putting their Jack Boot on the neck of the citizenry and turning us into their serfs. All Republicans need to back away from contesting Trump for the 2024 election nomination and throw their full support behind him. We need to throw Trump back in the Democrat Criminals’ faces and stand with him 110%. We were already in a Cold Civil War with the Democrats, Fat Alvin and his Soros Handlers just stepped on the pedal and threw it into overdrive. So there is now no fence sitting or glad handing with the Democrats. The Senate Republicans need to have a no confidence vote and remove China Mitch as their leader. Place Ted Cruz in charge. Then McCarthy and Cruz need to bring the Republicans together and advise them if they can’t stand 110% against the Democrat agenda don’t expect support in their next primary. Then gridlock everything in Congress until January 2025. No continuing resolutions for budget, defund the D.O.J., Dept of Education, E.P.A., C.D.C. and N.H.I..
Well folks we have arrived we are now living in a police state. For a long time now we’ve known the justice department was corrupt but wasn’t sure how far they were willing to go to crush patriots and conservatives. Now we know. The indictment of Trump is a clear message that a government for the people by the people is history. More political prosecutions will come, and our prisons will swell with patriots who will not go silently into the night. I’m afraid we are living in the last days of our great republic and only a great awakening and a return to our core founding principles will save it.
With who is bringing the charges, even a testimony of “maybe” will suffice to include it into the record as being “solid evidence” against Trump. My vote is presently not slated for candidate but certainly not for one rgat has no clue what he is suppose to do nor for a cacxling hye….
AND those thinking he’ll get a “FAIR” Trial in NYC, where 90% of them ARE DEMON-RATS< is fooling themselves..
No doubt he will be bound over for trial in NYC.
NOW is the time for all in Republican leadership position to grow a pair. If the refuse to do so citizens may do it for them.
“ The preeminence of the rule of law is central to the integrity of our democracy. It must be applied equally without fear or favor,” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said on Twitter.”
Oh if only it WERE applied equally! Wouldn’t that be nice?
Been watching Holmes since the 70’s and just really don’t believe he’ll be jailed. Convicted maybe. But go to jail, no way. Doesn’t matter what he does, he will walk. The GOAT. the best at what he does.