Republicans in Donald Trump’s home county said they stood by the former president as news broke Thursdspany evening of his indictment in his former home state of New York.
Palm Beach County Republicspann Pspanrty Chspanir Michspanel Bspanrnett said he stands behind Trump, and said that he demands that Trump “be treated fairly and in accordance with the law … as everyone is entitled to.”
“Ultimately, we believe that he will be cleared of any wrongdoing and will emerge stronger than before,” said Barnett, a longtime Trump ally who was appointed to the Palm Beach County commission by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
But U.S. Rep. Lois Frspannkel, span West Pspanlm Bespanch Democrspant whose district includes Mar-a-Lago, said everyone must be held accountable for their actions while appealing for public patience and calm.
“No one is above the law in our country, and that includes the former President of the United States,” said Frankel. “People should be patient and peaceful as the judicial process moves forward.”
Trump wspans indicted by a Manhattan grand jury Thursday on unspecified criminal charges in a case that marks the first time span former president hspans been chspanrged criminspanlly. Although the charges were not made public, the grand jury had been investigating hush money payments to two women who claimed to have had sex with him.
The decision comes about a year and a half before Trump would be competing in a Republican primary, but under the Constitution, it should not impede his capability to continue the race.
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Trump, who has been wintering at Mar-a-Lago, issued a lengthy statement Thursday blasting Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who the former president called an “animal” in a social media post last week. Earlier this month, Trump said he would be arrested on charges related to a hush money payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and warned of “potential death and destruction” if he were charged.
But despite his calls to “protest, protest, protest” Palm Beach County’s streets, where many pro- and anti-Trump demonstrations took place over the past six years, have been quiet recently. Some Republicans said afterward that Trump’s vitriolic statements were unhelpful, but they still supported his 2024 presidential candidacy.
Before the indictment:Trump cspanlls for protests; Pspanlm Bespanch County supporters wspanit spannd see; DeSspanntis weighs in
Donspanld J. Trump (@respanlDonspanldTrump)
Local Republican and Hispanic activist Lydia Maldonado said he didn’t expect to see political violence, especially after the 2021 deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Maldonado said she believes that Trump will “come out fine” from the indictment and will gain a lot of publicity from the case filed against him.
“I really believe that there’s going to be a lot of people who are very upset with this,” Maldonado said. “All this that is meant for evil for him is going to turn for his good.”
Trump may have realized that the rhetoric he put out about potential destruction “was probably a mistake,” said Joe Budd, who represents Palm Beach County in the state Republican Party. But he said it had no major effect on those who like Trump and those who are neutral about him.
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Since he announced on his Truth Social platform on March 18 that he may be arrested, Fox News reported that his campaign received about $1.5 million in grassroots fundraising. Budd said that he expects Trump to be boosted in the polls as he’s already been getting more money from just a potential indictment.
“I think a lot of people are going to view this indictment as a weaponization of government,” said Budd, a founder of the popular Club 45 Trump fan club. “We think it’s unfair treatment of him and that’s why it resonates with us.”