The decade's most triggering comedy
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis quickly responded to news on Thursday that former President Donald Trump has been indicted by a Manhattan grand jury by calling into question the legitimacy of the case and saying that the state will not assist an extradition request.
The New York Times reported that the felony indictment over Trump’s alleged $130,000 hush money payment to porn actress Stormy Daniels was filed under seal by the Manhattan district attorney’s office.
“The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head,” DeSantis said in a statement. “It is un-American. The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is stretching the law to target a political opponent.”
“Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue with this Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda,” DeSantis added.
The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head.
It is un-American.
The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is…
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 30, 2023
The former president is now the first former president in U.S. history to ever face criminal charges.
The lead prosecutors in the case met with the grand jury on Thursday and read them the criminal statutes before they voted, the report said. A few hours later the prosecutors walked into the court clerk’s office and began filing the indictment.
The news comes as The Wall Street Journal reported that District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office has started examining an alleged $150,000 payment to former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
The report said that prosecutors could use the alleged hush money payment to McDougal to bring additional potential charges against Trump. Prosecutors could also use the McDougal evidence to try to establish an alleged pattern of conduct by the former president since alleged participants have claimed that Trump played a key role in the deals, the report said.
David Pecker, the former CEO of American Media, publisher of the National Enquirer, gave testimony this month that tied Trump directly to the payment to McDougal “and to an alleged broader scheme to suppress negative stories about Mr. Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign,” the report said.
Lawyers for the former president have claimed that he was not aware of the payment and he has denied having an affair with McDougal.
Trump faces additional legal jeopardy in three other criminal investigations into him, including a federal investigation into his efforts to stay in power after the 2020 election, an investigation in Georgia into his efforts to stay in power after the 2020 election, and another federal investigation into his handling of U.S. government records after leaving office.
This report has been updated to include additional information.