South Carolina leaders issue statements, react to Trump indictment

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Waco Regional Airport, Saturday,...
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Waco Regional Airport, Saturday, March 25, 2023, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)(Evan Vucci | AP)
Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 11:14 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Leaders from across South Carolina are reacting to the indictment of Donald Trump.


Thursday evening it was reported the former president had been indicted by a Grand Jury in New York. The exact charges haven’t been unsealed but the indictment stems from payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign, allegedly to silence an affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels. Trump’s legal team said Friday that the former president is likely to surrender to authorities Tuesday, April, 4.

Trump issued a statement in response to the indictment,

“This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history. From the time I came down the golden escalator at Trump Tower, and even before I was sworn in as your President of the United States, the Radical Left Democrats - the enemy of the hard-working men and women of this Country - have been engaged in a Witch-Hunt to destroy the Make America Great Again movement. You remember it just like I do: Russia, Russia, Russia; the Mueller Hoax; Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine; Impeachment Hoax 1; Impeachment Hoax 2; the illegal and unconstitutional Mar-a-Lago raid; and now this.

“The Democrats have lied, cheated and stolen in their obsession with trying to ‘Get Trump,’ but now they’ve done the unthinkable - indicting a completely innocent person in an act of blatant Election Interference.

“Never before in our Nation’s history has this been done. The Democrats have cheated countless times over the decades, including spying on my campaign, but weaponizing our justice system to punish a political opponent, who just so happens to be a President of the United States and by far the leading Republican candidate for President, has never happened before. Ever.

“Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg, who was hand-picked and funded by George Soros, is a disgrace. Rather than stopping the unprecedented crime wave taking over New York City, he’s doing Joe Biden’s dirty work, ignoring the murders and burglaries and assaults he should be focused on. This is how Bragg spends his time!

“I believe this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden. The American people realize exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here. Everyone can see it. So our Movement, and our Party - united and strong - will first defeat Alvin Bragg, and then we will defeat Joe Biden, and we are going to throw every last one of these Crooked Democrats out of office so we can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster (R) said on social media, “I do not see anything that is reasonable, anything that is honorable, anything that is legal, or anything that is even ethical about what this prosecutor has done.” McMaster was among the earliest state-level supporters of Trump during his initial run for president in 2016. During Trump’s visit to Columbia in January, he named McMaster to his leadership team in the state for the 2024 campaign.

Representative Jim Clyburn (D) also issued a statement,

“Today is a solemn day for our nation. The indictment of a former president, someone who should act in accordance with the highest of standards, serves as a sobering affirmation of the words written in 1776 by Thomas Paine in Common Sense.”

“He wrote: “let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know...that in America the law is king.” The success of our democratic experiment is dependent upon us remaining true to the rule of law, with liberty and justice for all. Consistent with that principle, Donald Trump will be afforded due process just like any other individual in this great nation, and I trust that the outcome of this case will be unaffected by the defendant’s previous high position. The eyes of the world are watching.”

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said,

“Soros-funded prosecutors make all prosecutors look bad when they weaponize the criminal justice system to achieve a political goal. This is setting a dangerous precedent.”

South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham (R) said in a statement,

“This is a shocking and dangerous day for the Rule of Law in America. “This is one of the most irresponsible decisions in American history by any prosecutor.”

“It is irresponsible because the case was looked at by two previous prosecutors and they passed. It has not aged like fine wine. “The chief witness for the prosecution is a convicted felon, Michael Cohen, whose previous lawyer said he is untrustworthy. Upon scrutiny, this case folds like a cheap suit. “So how does this end? Trump wins in court and he wins at the ballot box.”

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott (R) said,

“This pro-criminal New York DA has failed to uphold the law for violent criminals, yet weaponized the law against political enemies. This is a travesty and it should not be happening in the greatest country on Earth.”

Representative Ralph Norman (R) tweeted,

“This isn’t about justice or the rule of law. It’s about the optics of an indictment. That’s all they care about. Total witch hunt.”

WIS reached out to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department about potential protests in response to the former president’s indictment, “We stay apprised of local and national issues that could spark unrest. we are prepared to respond should any issues arise.”

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