The fourth indictment of former U.S. President Donald Trump and 18 other people for alleged efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election drew a swift response across the political spectrum Tuesday. The Georgia grand jury's 41-count indictment was announced late Monday as U.S. lawmakers took an annual month-long summer break.
Democratic leaders described the move as showing that no one is above the law, while prominent Republicans said it was a politically motivated act against a candidate in the 2024 election.
"We ought to allow these cases to go forward without any political or ideological interference," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters Tuesday. "The DA [district attorney] laid out a very, very strong case that Donald Trump violated the law."
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Late Monday, Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that President Joe Biden "has weaponized government against his leading political opponent to interfere in the 2024 election" and accused Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis of "attacking President Trump and using it to fundraise her political career."
Democratic Congresswoman Nikema Williams, the chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Georgia and whose district includes part of Fulton County, said that Trump tried to disenfranchise voters in Georgia because he did not like the result of losing a fair election in 2020.
"This is day for our democracy. We should never be in a situation where a former president is criminally charged with an attempt to overturn the election," Williams told reporters Tuesday in a conference call organized by the group Public Citizen. "We showed that in Fulton County, we apply the law equally to everyone, even failed former presidents. We're starting to hold Donald Trump accountable in courts."
Trump attorneys Drew Findling, Jennifer Little and Marissa Goldberg, in a statement late Monday, called the indictment "undoubtedly as flawed and unconstitutional as this entire process has been."
"This one-sided grand jury presentation relied on witnesses who harbor their own personal and political interests — some of whom ran campaigns touting their efforts against the accused and/or profited from book deals and employment opportunities as a result," the Trump attorneys said.
Norm Eisen, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, told reporters in the conference call organized by Public Citizen, "The DA and those ordinary Georgians sitting on that grand jury have put together a powerful and persuasive case. It's very important that this case be brought."
Comparing the Georgia indictment to the indictment handed down last month in a Washington federal court, Eisen said, "[Special Counsel] Jack Smith brought a narrow case he wants to get into trial extremely fast against one defendant. Fani Willis has brought a case that is as large and as comprehensive as the attempted coup itself was."
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who lost to Trump in the 2016 presidential election, said on MSNBC that having a former president accused of important crimes "is a terrible moment for our country."
"The only satisfaction may be that the system is working, that all of the efforts by Donald Trump, his allies and his enablers to try to silence the truth, to try to undermine democracy, have been brought into the light, and justice is being pursued," Clinton said.
Republican Congressman Jim Jordan said on X that Monday's indictment "is just the latest political attack in the Democrats' WITCH HUNT against President Trump."
"He did nothing wrong!" Jordan said.
Many congressional Republicans also renewed their calls to impeach President Joe Biden for alleged financial misdeeds when the House of Representatives goes back into session in mid-September.