Massachusetts politicians react to news of Trump's indictment
Reactions and speculation poured out swiftly to the first-ever criminal indictment against a former U.S. president.
Former President Donald Trump was indicted by a grand jury in New York Thursday on charges involving hush money payments made during his 2016 presidential campaign to allegedly hide an extramarital affair, a lawyer for Trump told The Associated Press. The charges were not made clear as of Thursday evening.
The 76-year-old has been actively promoting a second bid for the White House in 2024. He earlier foreshadowed that he may face criminal charges, recently urging his supporters to protest if he is arrested.
In Massachusetts, political leaders weighed in on the extraordinary development.
“Like most Americans, I believe no one deserves special treatment or exemption from consequences if they break the law," U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan wrote in a statement. "That’s the foundation of our justice system, and today’s grand jury indictment is proof that justice is and should be blind to your previous profession, even if you’re the former President of the United States.”
U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley took to Twitter where she wrote, "Twice impeached. Consistently corrupt & immoral. And now, indicted in a court of law."
U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern said Trump deserves his day in court. “Fraudulently using campaign contributions as hush money to cover up an affair is illegal. So illegal that Trump’s own lawyer went to jail for handling the payments," he wrote in a statement.
"... but instead he’s been calling for his supporters to protest against the rule of law itself. His behavior is sick," he added.
While several Democratic leaders united behind the message that Trump was not above the law, the chair of the Massachusetts Republican Party, Amy Carnevale, questioned the grounds on which Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg first brought forth the charges.
"I think the DA is really using the legal process to concoct charges for which he can find a potential violation and pursue those charges. It seems to me that it's politically motivated and that's a real concern," she said on WBUR's Morning Edition.
Carnevale said that while the number of Trump supporters in Massachusetts remains low, she thinks the recent indictment will further entrench their support of the former president. She noted she suspects that support to remain steadfast even in the face of other possible criminal charges, including allegations of election interference and mishandling of classified documents.
Former President Donald Trump "has a way of using issues like this to his benefit to, frankly, show that he sometimes is victimized by the government instruments. I think he'll do that again if any of these cases proceed further," she said.
Should any Trump supporters in Massachusetts demonstrate in response to the indictment, Carnevale is confident that they will not be violent.
U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, the House Democratic whip urged order and due process. "We must allow the judicial process to continue unimpeded and free from any form of political interference or intimidation," she wrote in a statement. "This is not a time for partisanship, but for all Americans to act peacefully and put their faith in the justice system."
This article was originally published on March 31, 2023.