Trump indicted: Reaction from Trump, lawmakers, allies, critics and moreget the free app
A grand jury has indicted former President Donald Trump, his attorney Susan Necheles and the Manhattan District Attorney confirmed Thursday.
It's the first time in history a former president has been indicted. The specific charge or charges have not been made public. An indictment is not a conviction.
According to Trump's defense team, he is expected to turn himself in next week.
In a statement on Thursday, the former president called it "Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history." His attorneys said in a statement "we will vigorously fight this."
The Manhattan District Attorney has been investigating the former president for allegedly falsifying business records in connection with a "hush money" payout made to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election. Trump has maintained his innocence and has denied ever having a relationship with Daniels.
Trump predicted last week he'd be arrested by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and called on his supporters to "protest, take our country back" upon his arrest. At a rally in Waco, Texas, over the weekend, Trump continued to deny any connection to Daniels and suggested the case had been dropped.
Here is some of the reaction from Trump, lawmakers, his allies, critics and more:
Trump: "This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history"
Former President Trump issued a statement on Thursday, calling the indictment "Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history."
The full statement is below:
"This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history. 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. You remember it just like I do: Russia, Russia, Russia; the Mueller Hoax; Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine; Impeachment Hoax 1; Impeachment Hoax 2; the illegal and unconstitutional Mar-a-Lago raid; and now this.
"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.
"Never before in our Nation's history has this been done. The Democrats have cheated countless times over the decades, including spying on my campaign, but weaponizing our justice system to punish a political opponent, who just so happens to be a President of the United States and by far the leading Republican candidate for President, has never happened before. Ever.
"Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who was hand-picked and funded by George Soros, is a disgrace. Rather than stopping the unprecedented crime wave taking over New York City, he's doing Joe Biden's dirty work, ignoring the murders and burglaries and assaults he should be focused on. This is how Bragg spends his time!
"I believe this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden. The American people realize exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here. Everyone can see it. So our Movement, and our Party - united and strong - will first defeat Alvin Bragg, and then we will defeat 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!"
Manhattan District Attorney confirmation
"This evening we contacted Mr. Trump's attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.'s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal. Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected."
Trump on Truth Social: "These Thugs and Radical Left Monsters have just INDICATED the 45th President"
In a post on his social media platform Truth Social, Trump followed up his previous statement by saying "These Thugs and Radical Left Monsters have just INDICATED the 45th President of the United States of America, and the leading Republican Candidate, by far, for the 2024 Nomination for President."
His full comment on Truth Social:
These Thugs and Radical Left Monsters have just INDICATED the 45th President of the United States of America, and the leading Republican Candidate, by far, for the 2024 Nomination for President. THIS IS AN ATTACK ON OUR COUNTRY THE LIKES OF WHICH HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE. IT IS LIKEWISE A CONTINUING ATTACK ON OUR ONCE FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS. THE USA IS NOW A THIRD WORLD NATION, A NATION IN SERIOUS DECLINE. SO SAD!
Pelosi: "No one is above the law"
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who led the House during both of Trump's impeachments, tweeted "the grand jury has acted upon the facts and the law," but also noted "everyone has the right to a trial to prove innocence."
Her tweet in full:
The Grand Jury has acted upon the facts and the law.
No one is above the law, and everyone has the right to a trial to prove innocence.
Hopefully, the former President will peacefully respect the system, which grants him that right.
Pence says indictment: "Offends the notion of the American people who believe in fairness, who believe in equal treatment before the law"
Former Vice President Mike Pence appeared on CNN on Thursday night, saying "it appears to millions of Americans to be nothing more than a political prosecution that's driven by a prosecutor who literally ran for office on the pledge to indict the former president." CNN's Wolf Blitzer interrupted that it wasn't just Bragg, but a majority of a grand jury of 23 people.
"Well I understand that," Pence said. "It's been a long time since I was in law school but I remember the old saying, 'you can indict a ham sandwich.' The threshold, the burden of proof is very law, prosecutors make decisions, discretionary decisions about what they bring all the time."
Pence went on to say that the indictment "offends the notion of the American people who believe in fairness, who believe in equal treatment before the law."
Pence noted that Cohen had been charged and served time because he was the one who made the payments.
Having recently been in Iowa, Pence said "not one person raised this issue … the media's obsession about these investigations into Donald Trump, I think it's being lost on the American people, who are struggling under the weight of the failed policies of the Biden administration."
Blitzer also asked Pence about a judge's order that he must comply with a subpoena to testify before a grand jury investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Pence said he is "we'll have an answer in the next several days."
"We're going to obey the law and I'll continue to do as I've done speaking about those events," Pence said.
Kevin McCarthy: "The House of Representatives will hold Alvin Bragg and his unprecedented abuse of power to account"
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who has closely aligned himself with Trump, tweeted that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg "weaponized our sacred system of justice against President Donald Trump."
His statement in full:
"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."
Ron DeSantis: "Florida will not assist in an extradition request"
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, considered one of Trump's biggest rivals in the 2024 race, issued a statement condemning the indictment as "un-American," but also said "Florida will not assist in an extradition request."
His statement in full:
"The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head.
It is un-American.
The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is stretching the law to target a political opponent.
Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue with this Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda."
Schumer: Trump is "subject to the same laws as every American"
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who led Senate Democrats through both of Trump's impeachment trials, issued a statement encouraging the former president's "critics and supporters to let the process proceed peacefully and according to the law."
Schumer's statement in full"
"Mr. 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. There should be no outside political influence, intimidation or interference in the case. I encourage both Mr. Trump's critics and supporters to let the process proceed peacefully and according to the law."
Trump's lawyers: "We will vigorously fight this"
Trump's attorneys Susan Necheles and Joseph Tacopina said in a statement on Thursday:
"President Trump has been indicted. He did not commit any crime. We will vigorously fight this this political prosecution in Court."
Taylor Budowich, spokesperson for Trump-aligned PAC: "There was no crime"
Taylor Budowich, a spokesperson for the Trump-aligned PAC MAGA Inc, issued a statement on Thursday saying "this news in the indictment of a failed nation."
"This is not an indictment of a crime—there was no crime—instead, this news is the indictment of a failed nation. President Trump is promising to peacefully end the war in Ukraine, dismantle the deep state, and save our country by putting America first. For that, the political elites and powerbrokers have weaponized government to try and stop him. They will fail. He will be re-elected in the greatest landslide in American history, and together we will all Make America Great Again, -- Taylor Budowich, CEO of Make America Great Again Inc.
Swalwell: "Somber day for America"
Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell tweeted, "The indictment of a former president is a somber day for America. It's also a time to put faith in our judicial system. Donald Trump deserves every protection provided to him by the Constitution. As that unfolds, let us neither celebrate nor destroy. Justice benefits us all."