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.
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."