Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has joined the chorus of Republicans speaking out against the New York grand jury indictment of former President Donald Trump calling the prosecution a political move.
Mr. Bush, who Mr. Trump nicknamed “Low Energy Jeb” as the two candidates faced off in the 2016 GOP presidential primary, appeared to have put any remaining bad blood from that race aside on Saturday when he came to the former president’s defense.
“[Manhattan District Attorney Alvin] Bragg’s predecessor didn’t take up the case,” Mr. Bush wrote on Twitter. “The Justice Department didn’t take up the case. Bragg first said he would not take up the case.”
“This is very political, not a matter of justice,” he wrote. “In this case, let the jury be the voters.”
Bragg’s predecessor didn’t take up the case. The Justice Department didn’t take up the case. Bragg first said he would not take up the case. This is very political, not a matter of justice. In this case, let the jury be the voters.— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) April 1, 2023
Mr. Trump was indicted by a New York grand jury on Thursday on fraud charges related to the 2016 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels who said she had a consensual sexual encounter with Mr. Trump in 2006.
Mr. Trump denies the affair.
The indictment will begin a legal process that will likely require Mr. Trump to go to New York to face the charges.
Mr. Trump, the leading candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, called the indictment “political persecution and election interference at the highest level in history.”
Mr. Bush, the son of former President George H.W. Bush and the brother of the 43rd President, George W. Bush, is not the only former foe to come to Mr. Trump’s defense.
Former Vice President Mike Pence said the indictment of his former boss was an “outrage” that should “be offensive to every America, left, right and center.”
Mr. Pence, a potential opponent of Mr. Trump’s for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, has been highly critical of the former president for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol in recent public statements.
But Mr. Pence’s response to Mr. Trump’s indictment signals that his row with the former president may have its bounds.
“I think it’s clear to the overwhelming majority of people that this is nothing short of a political prosecution being effected by a Manhattan DA who literally campaigned on bringing charges against one particular American,” Mr. Pence said in an address Friday at the National Review Institute’s Ideas Summit. “I believe the American people will see this for what it is.”
Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, another potential candidate for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, slammed the indictment soon after it was announced on Thursday, and said he would not assist in any extradition request from Mr. Bragg.
“The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head,” Mr. DeSantis wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “It is un-American.”
Mr. Trump is set to appear in court in New York on Tuesday.
• Joseph Clark can be reached at email@example.com.
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