April 13, 2024

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 14: Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) speaks to reporters in the Senate subway on his way to a vote at the U.S. Capitol March 14, 2023 in Washington, DC. Senators return to session this week amidst the government reaction to the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Several lawmakers, both allies and critics of Donald Trump, have issued statements following the former president’s arraignment Tuesday.

Trump personally pleaded not guilty in a Manhattan court to 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree after hearing charges against him stemming from a hush money payment to an adult film actress in 2016

Here’s how lawmakers are reacting:

GOP Sen. Mitt Romney, a sharp Trump critic, criticized what he called Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s overreach, and said it sets a “dangerous precedent.”

“I believe President Trump’s character and conduct make him unfit for office,” Romney said in a statement. “Even so, I believe the New York prosecutor has stretched to reach felony criminal charges in order to fit a political agenda. No one is above the law, not even former presidents, but everyone is entitled to equal treatment under the law. The prosecutor’s overreach sets a dangerous precedent for criminalizing political opponents and damages the public’s faith in our justice system.”

House GOP Chair Elise Stefanik, a key Trump ally, called Trump’s arrest “shameful,” adding that it would help him in his bid for the White House.

“President Trump continues to skyrocket in the polls, and just like with the Russia hoax and both sham impeachments, President Trump will defeat the latest witch-hunt, defeat Joe Biden, and will be sworn in as President of the United States in January 2025,” she said in a statement.

House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan tweeted, “equal justice under the law, unless you’re a Republican running for president,” after Trump was arraigned.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise retweeted Jordan’s post.

Trump ally Sen. Marsha Blackburn accused Bragg of being politically motivated in his investigation in a number of tweets today. In one tweet, Blackburn called Bragg a “radical left-wing activist abusing his power in an attempt to help Biden remain in office.”

GOP Sen. JD Vance tweeted that “Bragg’s entire career is about normalizing violent crime. Just crazy that he’s bringing this weak case in the middle of a presidential election.” The Ohio senator, who was once a Trump critic, has embraced Trump and already endorsed him in the 2024 presidential race.

GOP Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, who is weighing a 2024 presidential run, slammed Bragg ahead of the indictment, saying that he “doesn’t prosecute criminals, yet weaponizes the law against his political enemies.”

Credit: cnn.com

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