Republican members of Alabama’s U.S. congressional delegation reacted with anger and dismay following the vote on Thursday by a Manhattan grand jury to indict former President Donald Trump, with many rushing to defend the former president, who is now the first ever to be indicted on criminal charges.
The historic case originates from hush money payments in 2016 to an adult film actress, who Trump is alleged to have had a sexual encounter with outside of his marriage, and federal campaign finance law violations possibly tied to the payments.
In a statement, Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Alabama, who is the senior senator from Alabama, described the indictment as a “witch hunt” and a threat to democracy.
“Indicting a former President is an unprecedented step and it’s a threat to our democracy,” Tubberville wrote on Twitter. “Stop the witch hunt now.”
Later in the evening, Tubberville questioned whether the “charge” would be seen as legitimate in a second statement made on Twitter. The charges have not been released as the indictment remains under seal, with initial reports indicating that Trump faces more than 30 counts related to business fraud, according to Reuters.
“Remember this day … the day the Democrats hatred of a Republican President was so great that they indicted him on a charge that no one believes is legitimate,” Tuberville wrote on Twitter. “You can’t unring this bell.”
Congressman Barry Moore, R-Alabama, echoed similar sentiments in a statement. While in the Alabama Legislature, Moore was indicted and later acquitted of felony perjury and giving false statements to authorities during a public corruption investigation into former Speaker of the Alabama House Mike Hubbard.
“This is a dark day in American history,” Moore said. “The arrest of President Trump demonstrates more than ever how the Democrats have weaponized the government against the American people. As a member of the House Judiciary Committee, I am committed to holding the Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney accountable by requesting to review all documents in this case and working to ensure that federal funds are not used on this political witch hunt.”
Moore also announced that he would be handing out ham sandwiches at the U.S. House Office Building based on his belief that “the Manhattan DA could indict a ham sandwich next.”
In the wake of news over the last few weeks that an indictment may be handed down against Trump, labeling Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg as “Soros-backed,” in reference to the liberal billionaire philanthropist George Soros, has been used repeatedly use by Congressional members.
Soros donated $1 million to an affiliated PAC of Color of Change, a progressive civil rights advocacy group, that aided Bragg’s campaign for district attorney in early 2021, according to the Washington Post.
Freshman Congressman Dale Strong, R-Alabama, took aim at Bragg in a statement made following the grand jury decision, where Strong called the case “an abuse of office” and described the criminal indictment as politically motivated.
“After four years of liberal investigations designed to undermine a democratically elected Trump presidency, New York liberals are continuing the same playbook– trying to find anything to keep Trump out of office,” Strong said in a statement made on Twitter Thursday. “This is nothing more than a political witch hunt and an abuse of office by the Manhattan District Attorney. We must not stand for the politicization of our nation’s justice system to influence elections.”
Congressman Gary Palmer, R-Alabama, said the indictment was an “attempted political assassination of a former President” and demanded the case be thrown out immediately.
“What we are seeing is the attempted political assassination of a former President,” Palmer said on Thursday. “Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s spurious legal case should never have been entertained & his flagrant abuse of the justice system is leading the nation down a very dark & dangerous path. A path where one side weaponizes the law to attack their political opponents inciting more distrust of our judicial system and undermining the future of our democracy. For the good of the nation, this case should immediately be thrown out.”
Alabama’s junior U.S. Sen. Katie Britt said in a statement first published by AL.com that the American justice system “should and must be blind, not weaponized against political enemies.”
Congressman Robert Anderholt, R-Alabama, who has been in office longer than anyone else in the Alabama congressional delegation, also said in a statement, first published at CBS42, that the indictment was motivated by politics.
“The politically motivated pursuit of this case against a former President will be seen by a jury for what it truly is: a stunt,” Anderholt said on Thursday. “The prosecutors of New York City should focus on the very real crime crisis that they are facing on a daily basis. To use our justice system as a weapon is to tear down the system that we all hold dear.”
In contrast, U.S Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Alabama, said in a statement to APR on Friday that “no one is above the law” and that the legal process must “move forward based on the facts and the evidence.”