(NewsNation) — Political commentators and lawmakers were quick to react as a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict former President Donald Trump on Thursday in connection to his alleged role in a hush-money payment scheme.
“Outrageous,” tweeted Congressman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
On Twitter, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., reacted, “The sham New York indictment of President Donald Trump is one of the clearest examples of extremist Democrats weaponizing government to attack their political opponents.”
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy said the “American people will not tolerate this injustice.”
“Alvin Bragg has irreparably damaged our country in an attempt to interfere in our Presidential election,” McCarthy tweeted. “As he routinely frees violent criminals to terrorize the public, he weaponized our sacred system of justice against President Donald Trump.”
The House Judiciary Committee Republicans tweeted, “This happened in America. Sad day for our country.”
Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz weighed in on Twitter, saying, “The Democrat Party’s hatred for Donald Trump knows no bounds. The ‘substance’ of this political persecution is utter garbage. This is completely unprecedented and is a catastrophic escalation in the weaponization of the justice system.”
Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley tweeted, “Tonight’s indictment of Donald Trump isn’t about the law. It’s about power. Raw power.”
The felony indictment, which remains under seal, will mark the first time a former president faces criminal charges. Those exact charges are still unknown but will likely be announced in the coming days.
The former president himself was quick to react on his social media platform Truth Social, saying, “THIS IS AN ATTACK ON OUR COUNTRY THE LIKES OF WHICH HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE.”
“He did not commit any crime,” Trump’s lawyers said in a statement. “We will vigorously fight this political prosecution in Court.”
Trump’s son Eric also posted on Truth Social, saying, “This is third world prosecutorial misconduct. It is the opportunistic targeting of a political opponent in a campaign year.”
On live streaming service Rumble, Donald Trump Jr. said, “Let’s be clear folks, this is communist-level shit. This is stuff that would make Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, would make them blush. Apparently, this corrupt leftist DA is indicting my father on claims that even the federal government… even they didn’t want to touch it, yet they go forward.”
Trump Jr. continued, “If you don’t think that the weaponization of the entire federal govt against their political enemies, against the voters, half of the country, approximately, as we’ve seen, if you don’t think that’s a problem, you don’t even belong in any position in government, let alone president.”
Potential 2024 GOP political rival Ron DeSantis called the indictment “un-American.”
In a statement, DeSantis said, “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.”
Freedom Caucus member Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, tweeted, “Real America knows this is all a sham.”
Kari Lake, Republican gubernatorial candidate for Arizona, spoke out against the indictment, issuing the following statement: “After years of witchunts. the Russia Hoax, TWO politically-motivated impeachments and a raid on his personal home, the New York Grand Jury has thrown together a legally incoherent case in an attempt to imprison the Republican frontrunner for President.”
Trump lawyer Alina Habba issued a statement that read: “A former president, a current candidate and my friend President Donald J. Trump is a victim of a corrupt and distorted version of the American justice system and history. He will be vindicated.”
One-time Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani called the indictment “irresponsible and politically-motivated efforts to take him down. A sad day for America.”
Ronna McDaniel, Chairwoman of the Republican Party, tweeted, “When our justice system is weaponized as a political tool, it endangers all of us. This is a blatant abuse of power from a DA focused on political vengeance instead of keeping people safe.”
The GOP turned the focus onto Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, tweeting, “Meanwhile, New York City, where Alvin Bragg is Manhattan District Attorney, set a new felony crimes record last year, with the most felony crimes reported in at least 15 years.”
The Biden White House has issued no comment.
DNC National Press Secretary Ammar Moussa released the following statement: “No matter what happens in Trump’s upcoming legal proceedings, it’s obvious the Republican Party remains firmly in the hold of Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans. We will continue to hold Trump and all Republican candidates accountable for the extreme MAGA agenda that includes banning abortion, cutting Social Security and Medicare, and undermining free and fair elections.”
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., tweeted, “The indictment of a former president is unprecedented. But so too is the unlawful conduct in which Trump has been engaged. A nation of laws must hold the rich and powerful accountable, even when they hold high office. Especially when they do. To do otherwise is not democracy.”