riticism of Thursday's indictment of former President Donald Trump focused on claims of election interference and political corruption akin to a banana republic.
The Manhattan District Attorney's office handed down the indictment Thursday after its grand jury investigation into whether Trump paid money to adult film star Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 presidential election to secure her silence about an alleged affair. Trump denies there was ever any such a relationship and he went on to defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. Trump went on to lose to President Joe Biden in 2020 but he is running again in 2024.
Lawyer Alan Dershowitz called the indictment the "thinnest case" he's ever seen on the Greta Van Susteren Fox TV show.
"For it to be the first prosecution of a former president and the first prosecution of a man who is running for president against an incumbent Democrat, being indicted by a Democrat – a popularly elected Democrat – on a case as thin as this," Dershowitz said. "I tell you, it's banana republic time."
Democratic U.S. Sen. Adam Schiff of California tweeted that Trump had to be held accountable.
"The indictment of a former president is unprecedented," Schiff tweeted. "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."
A Republican congressman said the indictment was about controlling the 2024 presidential election.
"Tonight’s indictment of Donald Trump isn’t about the law. It’s about power. Raw power," U.S. Republican Sen. Josh Hawley, R-MO, tweeted. "It’s the Democrat Party telling the nation they will stop at nothing to control the outcome of the next presidential election. It is an assault on our democracy, pure and simple."
Carol M. Swain, a retired political science professor from Vanderbilt University and a TV analyst, feared the indictment will lead to the FBI targeting Trump supporters.
"Be very afraid of what the Left will do while the world is distracted by the #TrumpIndictment. It gives the FBI an excuse to focus on triggered Trump supporters rather than hate crimes perpetrated against Christians," Swain tweeted. "It also interferes with the electoral process by crippling the strongest opposition candidate. #2024Elections"
Another Democratic congressman from California said to trust the courts.
"The indictment of a former president is a somber day for America," U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell tweeted. "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."