by Mary Lou Masters
Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has remained silent on the potential indictment of former President Donald Trump, while several of her 2024 opponents – and potential opponents – have weighed in.
Conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence have spoken out against the Manhattan District Attorney’s political agenda they allege is behind the targeting of the former president. Their comments come after Trump announced on Truth Social that he expects to be arrested on Tuesday.
“A Trump indictment would be a national disaster. It is un-American for the ruling party to use police power to arrest its political rivals,” Ramaswamy said. “Principles go beyond partisanship. Let the American people decide who governs. This will mark a dark moment in American history and will undermine public trust in our electoral system itself. I call on the Manhattan District Attorney to reconsider this action and to put aside partisan politics in service of preserving our Constitutional republic.”
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg could arrest Trump this week for allegedly paying hush money to porn star actress Stormy Daniels prior to his 2016 campaign, Trump said Saturday. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, paid Daniels $130,000 to ensure she would keep quiet about an alleged affair, and the years-long investigation is seeking whether Trump paid him back via forging business records.
Ramaswamy was the first GOP contender who addressed the perceived “political persecution” against the former president, and called on DeSantis and Haley to join him in opposition. While Haley has yet to weigh in, DeSantis voiced his opinion at a Monday press conference.
“The Manhattan District Attorney is a Soros-funded prosecutor,” DeSantis said. “If you have a prosecutor who is ignoring crimes happening every single day in his jurisdiction and he chooses to go back many, many years ago to try to use something about porn star hush money payments, that’s an example of pursing a political agenda, and weaponizing the office, and I think that that’s fundamentally wrong.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence said he was “taken aback” that a Trump indictment might come this week, and noted that the U.S. faces “real challenges,” like the war in Ukraine, the border crisis and inflation.
“The idea of indicting a former president of the United States at a time where there’s a crime wave in New York City, the fact that the Manhattan DA thinks that indicting President Trump is his top priority, I think just tells you everything you need to know about the radical left in this country. It just feels like a politically charged prosecution here and for my part, it just feels that this is not what the American people want to see,” Pence told ABC News.
Jason Miller, Trump’s Senior Advisor, thanked Ramaswamy and Pence “for pointing out how Radical Left Democrats are trying to divide our Country in the name of Partisan Politics,” and noted the “radio silence” from Haley and DeSantis, at the time.
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Mary Lou Masters is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Nikki Haley on the 2024 Campaign Trail” by Nikki Haley.