Local reactions toe party lines
31 Mar 2023 — The Chronicle

Local and state political figures reacted to the criminal indictment of former President Donald Trump in New York on Thursday:

David Arredondo, Lorain County Republican Party chairman:

Arredondo emailed the following statement to The Chronicle-Telegram on Thursday.

"Once again, Democrats sink to a new low in regards to attacking Republicans. Time and time again, Democrats look foolish when their attacks on Trump backfire on them: Two impeachments, no convictions. And nothing from the January 6 witch hunt committee either."

"This indictment is a waste of time and taxpayer money as there is no basis for this charge. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg just confirmed the adage that a 'grand jury can indict a ham sandwich.' There will be no trial or conviction any time soon."

"Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York opted out of charging Trump related to the Stormy Daniels payment in 2019. The Federal Election Commission also tossed its investigation into the matter in 2021."

"If anything, these repeated attacks reinforce his position as a presidential candidate in 2024, just the opposite of what the Democrats expect by a trial and conviction of Donald Trump. I urge Democrats to condemn this miscarriage of justice."

Sharon Sweda, Lorain County Democratic Party chairwoman:

Sweda said she was glad the justice system is holding Trump accountable "just like anyone else" and that his threats of unrest in the event of criminal charges "are not intimidating the process."

"For me, I find no pleasure in anybody breaking laws and then getting caught breaking laws," she said, "but I find less pleasure in anybody breaking laws and not getting held accountable."

She said it is sad and disappointing any time a president or former president is under investigation, but so is the belief system "that you're above prosecution and above the law."

Ohio is just coming to terms with former state House Speaker Larry Householder's corruption conviction, Sweda said.

"I'd like to think these are examples to political officials, who might have that propensity and background" for criminal activity, "that they will be held accountable," she said.

Whether it's Hillary Clinton or Hunter Biden, Trump seems to support prosecuting everyone else except himself, Sweda said.

She said she sympathizes with traditional Republicans who have the integrity to stand up or speak out and reject Trump.

"I feel their party was hijacked. There's a solid core that still believes in the old principles of the Republican Party, those who say 'I will continue to support the Republican Party but I won't support Donald Trump,'" she said. "It says 'I believe in my party and what we stand for, but I won't fall on a sword for someone just because they belong to my party.'"

"It's unfortunate, the pattern of corruption, the crimes he allegedly committed, and the crimes that other officials have committed," Sweda said. "I think as American people, not as Democrats or Republicans, as Americans, we have a responsibility to hold them accountable in the eyes of the law, as much so as ourselves or our neighbors."

U.S. Rep. Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green

"The indictment of a former President of the United States is an unprecedented and serious matter, and the American people deserve answers on the indictment," Latta said in a statement to the news media Thursday. "The sealed indictment - if based on the case that was dismissed by federal prosecutors seven years ago - is suspicious and seemingly politically motivated. I will be following this situation closely as it unfolds."

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana

Addressing the indictment on Twitter, Jordan laid the blame on Democrats.

"Washington, D.C.'s, top prosecutor declined to prosecute nearly 70 percent of people arrested in 2022. In New York City, Alvin Bragg lost most of his misdemeanor cases in court. And in Portland, crime is so bad that businesses are leaving the area. What's in common? Democrats."

U.S. Sen. JD Vance, R-Cincinnati:

"Today's indictment of President Trump is political persecution masquerading as law," Vance said in a news release. "Donald Trump is the former president of the United States, the leader of our nation's political opposition, and the presumptive Republican nominee in 2024. Alvin Bragg's decision to indict him is blatant election interference and a direct assault on the tens of millions of Americans who support him.

"To make matters worse, this entire charade is predicated on an unprecedented, doomed-to-fail legal theory and a baseless misdemeanor charge from seven years ago.

"While the radical left continues their obsession with harassing Donald Trump, the American people are suffering. Families are struggling to put food on the table, violent crime is running rampant in our cities, and thousands have been poisoned by the fentanyl pouring across our southern border.

"Instead of working to improve the lives of the Americans they are supposed to represent, the ruling party is focused on kneecapping their greatest threat in the next election.

"The American people will see this for exactly what it is: a grave miscarriage of justice," Vance said.

Messages seeking comment on the news were left for spokespersons for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Cleveland, and for Lorain County Commissioners Michelle Hung, David Moore and Jeff Riddell, all Republicans.

This story is provided free courtesy of The Chronicle.
"Local reactions toe party lines" The Chronicle 31 Mar 2023: A1