Former Vice President Mike Pence called the Manhattan grand jury’s decision to indict former President Donald Trump on a campaign finance issue “outrage” in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that aired Thursday night.
Pence, who would face his former boss in the GOP primary if he decides to run for president, said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation into Trump over alleged hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels appears to be a ” to be political prosecution”.
“I think the unprecedented indictment of a former President of the United States over a campaign finance issue is an outrage,” Pence said.
In a historic development, Trump became the first former US president to be prosecuted on Thursday. The charges relate to a $130,000 payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and another $150,000 to the former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
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hush money payments The payments to McDougal and Daniels were uncovered and reported by Fox News in 2018. These payments had been investigated by the US Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York and by the Federal Election Commission
Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York refrained from charging Trump in connection with the payment to Stormy Daniels in 2019, despite Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen implicating him as part of his plea for an illegal campaign donation. Cohen claims he arranged these payments to McDougal and Daniels at Trump’s behest. The Federal Electoral Commission also closed its investigation into the matter in 2021. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.
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“Tonight we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his transfer to the Manhattan Attorney’s Office for indictment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains classified,” a spokesman for the Manhattan Attorney’s Office said in a statement on Thursday. “Guidance will be given in choosing the date of indictment.”
Reactions to Trump’s indictment have largely fallen in predictably partisan directions. Republicans have expressed various forms of outrage. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., accused Bragg of causing irreparable damage to the nation and said he “weaponized our sacred justice system against President Donald Trump Schiff, D-Calif., the leading Democrat.” in Trump’s first impeachment trial, said the charges were fair.
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“When justice requires that Michael Cohen go to prison for a plan directed by someone else, justice also requires that the person responsible for directing the plan answer for their violations of the law – and this one Person is Donald Trump,” said Schiff.
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Pence said the charges against Trump were a “disservice to the country” and warned that the charges would divide Americans, noting that millions still support Trump.
“I think the American people will look at this and see it as another example of the criminalization of politics in this country,” he said.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Marta Dhanis contributed to this report.
Source : www.foxnews.com