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Illinois congressional delegation reacts to Trump’s arrest and arraignment

Former President Donald Trump arrives at court, Tuesday, April 4, 2023, in New York. Trump is set to appear in a New York City courtroom on charges related to falsifying business records in a hush money investigation, the first president ever to be charged with a crime.

URBANA – As expected, the response to the arraignment of former president Donald Trump depended on the political party.

Republican congresswoman Mary Miller, who represents Illinois’ 13th congressional district is a staunch supporter of Trump. She promised an investigation of Alvin Bragg, the New York district attorney bringing charges against Trump. A statement issued on Tuesday says in part:

“The House will investigate the Manhattan DA’s use of federal funds for a partisan, political witch hunt against President Trump,” Miller said. “Mr. Bragg is not allowed to ignore a Congressional subpoena because, as he keeps saying, “no one is above the law.” 

“President Trump will prevail, and the America first movement will not be silenced by this latest communist assault on our democracy.”

US Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) says Trump has invited controversy  but he deserves his day in court.

“He’s entitled to the presumption of innocence,” said Durbin. “He’s entitled to due process as an American. But I have to say he also has to understand that no person is above the law, including a former president. So let’s wait and see what the charges are, and let this case play out.”

Durbin made the comments during a stop in Urbana on Monday. He also said criminal charges against a former president are extremely rare and must be taken seriously.

Case Against Former President

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg says his office’s historic case against former President Donald Trump seeks to “ensure that everyone stands equal before the law.”

“No amount of money and no amount of power changes that enduring American principle,” Bragg said.

Bragg spoke to a room packed with reporters following Trump’s arraignment Tuesday in a Manhattan courthouse on 34 felony charges tied to hush money paid to multiple people during the 2016 presidential campaign. The former president pleaded not guilty.

Bragg, who took office in 2022 and initially slowed the office’s move toward indicting Trump, said additional evidence not available to his predecessor led to moving forward now. He didn’t elaborate on the evidence or how it came to prosecutors’ attention.

“I bring cases when they’re ready,” Bragg said.

Illinois Student Newsroom reporters, Jim Meadows and the Associated Press contributed to this story.

IPM News

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