How Trump, his allies and his opponents reacted to indictment over hush money

The former president, his allies and Republican rivals have hit back at the move to arrest him on charges of paying Stormy Daniels

US Republican House representative Majorie Taylor Greene said former president Donald Trump was innocent. Bloomberg
Powered by automated translation

Donald Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury after a probe into hush money paid to former adult star Stormy Daniels, becoming the first former US president to face criminal charges.

The charges from an investigation led by Manhattan district prosecutor Alvin Bragg come as Mr Trump seeks the Republican nomination to run again in 2024.

Here's how he and other notable politicians reacted to the news:

Donald Trump:

Mr Trump said he was “completely innocent”.

“This is political persecution and election interference at the highest level in history.”

Mr Trump's time after office — in pictures

Ron DeSantis:

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential challenger for the 2024 Republican nomination, said in a tweet that the move was a “weaponisation” of the justice system.

“The weaponisation of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head. It is un-American,” he wrote.

“Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances …”

Mike Pence:

Mr Trump's vice president Mike Pence, who is also seen as a potential challenger for the 2024 nomination, gave his thoughts to CNN.

“I think this is an outrage but I also think at a time when the American people are struggling so much, that this will only further serve to divide our country.”

Chuck Schumer:

Senate Majority leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat, said he thought Mr Trump should be treated like anybody else and that if he were innocent the justice system would prove it to be so.

“Mr Trump is subject to the same laws as every American. He will be able to avail himself of the legal system and a jury, not politics, to determine his fate, according to the facts and the law.

“I encourage both Mr Trump’s critics and supporters to let the process proceed peacefully and according to the law.”

Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley, Mr Trump's UN ambassador and a potential challenger for the 2024 Republican nomination, said in a tweet that the indictment was “revenge”.

“This is more about revenge than it is about justice,” she told Fox News.

Rudy Giuliani

Mr Trump's former lawyer expressed his thoughts on Twitter with a meme of the former president pointing to the camera with the caption, “In reality, they're not after me, they're after you.”

“The 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, has been indicted by a Grand Jury in New York following District Attorney Alvin Bragg's irresponsible and politically motivated efforts to take him down. A sad day for America.”

Nancy Pelosi

Ms Pelosi, the former Democratic House speaker and long-time target of Mr Trump's ire, issued a statement that echoed her colleague Mr Schumer.

“The grand jury has acted upon the facts and the law. No one is above the law, and everyone has the right to a trial to prove innocence. Hopefully, the former president will peacefully respect the system, which grants him that right.”

Michael Cohen

Another of Mr Trump's former lawyers, Michael Cohen, said the move was simply the opening salvo.

“Today's indictment is not the end of the chapter, it is just the beginning … Accountability really matters.”

Ted Cruz

The Republican senator, who has supporter and criticised Mr Trump at different times, claimed political considerations had influenced the indictment.

“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 weaponisation of the justice system.”

Majorie Taylor Greene

Republican House representative Majorie Taylor Greene, the polemic Trump supporter and QAnon conspiracy theorist, sometimes referred to simply as MTG, was set to give a Lincoln Day address at the famous Civil War site of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania when she reacted on Twitter.

Ronny Jackson

Mr Trump's former physician-turned-Republican representative for Texas tweeted simply to say “Alvin Bragg is a NATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT to our justice system.”

Updated: March 31, 2023, 5:35 AM

View from DC

The inside scoop from The National’s Washington bureau

View from DC