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After Trump indictment, local pols declare, ‘No one is above law,’ warn against interference

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Local politicians weighed in on Donald Trump’s indictment by a Manhattan grand jury on Thursday for paying hush money to ex-porn star Stormy Daniels, among other charges. The pols praised the American judicial process — and said the case must be allowed to play out in the courts.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg brought the charges. Trump is claiming he did not know about the $130,000 payoff, but Bragg contends it was a campaign finance violation and was intended to influence the 2106 presidential election.

In a statement, a D.A. spokesperson said, “This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on [New York State] Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal. Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.”

Manhattan D.A. Bragg is leading the prosecution against Trump. (Manhattan D.A.’s Office)

Evoking the manic spectre of the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot, on March 24, Trump warned that if he was charged with a crime there would be “death and destruction.”

In a statement, Congressmember Dan Goldman declared that “no person is above the law.” And he called on all politicians to condemn any possible “political violence or interference.”

Goldman’s run for office last year was boosted by his former role as the lead counsel to the Democratic majority in the first Trump impeachment, helping earn him the key endorsement of the Village Independent Democrats political club.

“Our nation was founded on the rule of law that mandates that no person is above the law,” Goldman said. “We are blessed with a legal system that is designed to vindicate the robust rights of all defendants.

“Just like every other criminal defendant, Donald Trump has long-standing constitutional rights to a trial by jury, to confront his accusers and to legal counsel,” Goldman said. “If he believes that the legal basis for his indictment is unfounded, he can make that argument to a judge, who decides the law.

“As the process plays out, every elected official from across the ideological spectrum must make unequivocally clear that there is no room for political violence or interference. Donald Trump’s defense must take place in the court of law, not in the halls of Congress or in the political sphere.”

Trump supporters at a campaign rally in North Carolina, where the 2020 Republican National Convention was planned to be held. (Photo by John Penley)

Congressmember Nydia Velazquez called the 45th president’s indictment “a sad milestone” — but warned off “MAGA Republicans.”

Speaking of MAGA Republicans, three hours after Jim Jordan tweeted his disdain of the indictment, Representative Jerrold Nadler said top Trump loyalists on the Hill won’t be able to spin this one.

Speaking two days before the indictment, Councilmember Erik Bottcher argued that D.A. Bragg’s prosecution of Trump was not political, and that fear of a backlash should not stop the bringing of the case.

Lampooning Trump at the national Rainbow Gathering in Vermont in 2016. (Photo by John Penley)

“Alvin Bragg is a career prosecutor who is following the facts,” Bottcher said. “You don’t decline to prosecute because of fear of retaliation by someone’s supporters… . You have to respect the Constitution and the process.”

Meanwhile, former Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, in celebratory mode a few hours after The Donald’s indictment, playfully tweeted about the idea of throwing “a giant Stormy Daniels party.”

Adrienne Adams, the City Council speaker, said that a “privileged” individual like Trump claiming his prosecution is unfair is “insulting,” given how many people without means have been railroaded by the judicial system.

“Today’s decision by a grand jury represents the daily operations of our court system, even if the subject was a former president,” she said. “Regardless of your last name or wealth, everyone should be treated equally under the law. Non-privileged people in this country have too often faced disparate outcomes and treatment in the criminal legal system. The willingness by some to baselessly make similar claims of unjust legal treatment in this instance for someone benefiting from such immense privileges is quite insulting.

“New York City has handled high-profile legal cases in the past, and we will continue to do so. It is essential to democracy that the justice system’s process be allowed to unfold, and threats or attacks of any kind against the public officials of our legal system are unacceptable. I thank the everyday New Yorkers who serve on grand juries in performance of their responsibility to our city, as well as the professionals in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and court system.”

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