Donald Trump

‘No One Is Above the Law': New England Lawmakers Respond to Trump's Indictment

With former President Donald Trump facing criminal charges in New York, the American public and those who represent it are reacting

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Former President Donald Trump is facing charges out of New York, being indicted by a grand jury Thursday in the investigation into hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.

The charges against Trump are unclear, as the indictment returned to the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is sealed.

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While many members of New England's congressional delegation are Democrats who have been critical of Trump, their reactions Thursday have been varied.

"This is a sad day for America. It's a day when nobody, no matter what side of this issue you're on, nobody should be celebrating or getting hysterical," Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Massachusetts, told NBC10 Boston in an interview. "We should all just let the system of justice that we trust here in America run its course, as it would for anyone. Because we're in a country governed by the rule of law, with the foundational principle that the law applies to everyone."

"Twice impeached. Consistently corrupt & immoral. And now, indicted in a court of law," Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Massachusetts, wrote on Twitter.

Former President Donald Trump has been indicted by a New York grand jury.

Some were sure to dismiss Trump's claims that the charges against him were a politically motivated "witch hunt."

"Despite Trump's absurd rhetoric, his indictment has nothing to do with politics," wrote Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Massachusetts, in a statement. "After examining the evidence, hearing from witnesses, and looking at the law, a grand jury decided he likely committed a crime. How could anyone be surprised? His campaign manager, deputy campaign manager, chief strategist, national security advisor, personal lawyer, and accountant are all convicted felons. Like a mob boss, he surrounded himself with a cult of criminals who took the fall for him -- and now the jig is up."

McGovern added that the alleged use of campaign funds to cover up an affair is "so illegal that Trump's own lawyer [Michael Cohen] went to jail for handling the payments."

"I strongly condemn statements by President Trump himself and other elected Republican officials attacking the rule of law and once again seeking to incite political violence," tweeted Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine. "Their provocations demonstrate precisely why this indictment is so important."

"A grand jury made this decision, under the supervision of sworn officers of the court," Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-Rhode Island, said in a tweet. "A criminal jury will decide the case, after open trial. No one is above the law."

"President Trump could go to jail," said professor Tom Whalen, a political historian at Boston University. "And he's also a major Republican presidential contender, if not the favorite."

"This is uncharted territory," said Professor Christina Kulich, an expert in presidential politics at Suffolk University. "There is nothing to prevent him from running for office or becoming president in the midst of these legal challenges, or even if convicted."

Those legal challenges are not limited to the hush money case in New York.

"The Georgia investigations into election fraud are probably the most consequential," said Kulich.

"I think martyr is exactly what he's going for," said Whalen. "It's his bullseye, because otherwise what else does he have? He's going to basically be Joan of Arc."

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