'Outrageous': Jordan, Republicans come to Trump's defense after indictment

ByAlexandra Hutzler ABCNews logo
Friday, March 31, 2023
Lawmakers, New Yorkers react to Trump indictment
CeFaan Kim has the latest reaction from lawmakers, politicians, New Yorkers and more following the indictment of Donald Trump.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressional Republicans quickly came to former President Donald Trump's defense Thursday after he was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury, with Rep. Jim Jordan summarizing the party's response in a one word tweet: "Outrageous."

Jordan has led the charge against Alvin Bragg, teaming up with two other influential House committee chairs to demand testimony and documents from the district attorney related to the Trump probe. Bragg has rebuffed his efforts, stating it's inappropriate for Congress to intervene in state or local investigations.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy vowed his caucus will "hold Alvin Bragg and his unprecedented abuse of power to account" and said the American people "will not tolerate this injustice."

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle took to Twitter to react to the historic indictment on Thursday evening, laying bare the sharp partisan divide when it comes to Trump.

GOP House and Senate members decried the investigation by the Manhattan district attorney as a political prosecution.

"The Democrat Party's hatred for Donald Trump knows no bounds," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wrote. "The 'substance' of this political persecution is utter garbage. This is completely unprecedented and is a catastrophic escalation in the weaponization of the justice system."

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, called it a "sham" that is "one of the clearest examples of extremist Democrats weaponizing government to attack their political opponents."

With the indictment under seal, it's not yet clear what exact charges are being brought against Trump or whether they are related to the probe into the $130,000 payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in the final days of the 2016 presidential race.

"President Trump has been indicted," Trump's lawyers Susan Cecheles and Joe Tacopina said in a statement. "He did not commit any crime. We will vigorously fight this political prosecution in Court."

Many Democrats, on the other hand, praised the decision as proof "no one is above the law."

Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the lead House prosecutor in Trump's first Senate trial following his impeachment -- and a member of the House Jan. 6 select committee -- said the historic indictment mirrored Trump's "unprecedented" conduct.

"A nation of laws must hold the rich and powerful accountable, even when they hold high office," Schiff wrote. "Especially when they do. To do otherwise is not democracy."

Rep. Jason Crow, D-Wisc., posted: "Today is a somber day for our nation. Former President Trump's indictment reminds us that no one is above the law and that we are all afforded due process and equal protection under the law."

While Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel called it a "blatant abuse of power, the Democratic National Committee commented on what it said was Trump's hold over the GOP.

"No matter what happens in Trump's upcoming legal proceedings, it's obvious the Republican Party remains firmly in the hold of Donald Trump and MAGA Republicans," Ammar Moussa, the DNC's national press secretary, said in a statement. "We will continue to hold Trump and all Republican candidates accountable for the extreme MAGA agenda that includes banning abortion, cutting Social Security and Medicare, and undermining free and fair elections."

-ABC News' Gabe Ferris, Lauren Peller, Mariam Khan and Molly Nagle contributed to this report.