Thune breaks silence on Trump indictment: ‘Political agenda run amok’

John Thune
Sen. John Thune, R-SD, speaks during a news conference with members of Senate Republicans leadership, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. in Washington. Mariam Zuhaib/AP

Thune breaks silence on Trump indictment: ‘Political agenda run amok’

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Sen. John Thune (R-SD) broke his silence on former President Donald Trump’s indictment after the charges were unveiled on Tuesday, criticizing Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s case as politically motivated.

Thune said the indictment was a “political agenda run amok” after Trump was arraigned on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in New York, to which he pleaded not guilty.

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“I understand that this is the beginning of a legal process, not the end of one, but after an initial review of the details, this indictment looks like a political agenda run amok,” Thune said to South Dakota Public Broadcasting.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear why previous district attorneys opted against prosecution,” he said.

Thune, the No. 2 ranked Republican in the Senate, weighed in after neglecting to chime in the aftermath of last week’s indictment announcement. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) still has not commented.

Both McConnell and Thune have openly feuded with the former president. The 2020 presidential election, which Trump claimed, without evidence, was stolen from him by widespread voter fraud, was a turning point in his relationship with both senators. Relations soured between Trump and the top two ranking Republican senators when they spoke out against efforts to overturn the election results.

Other outspoken critics of the former president also aired similar grievances and expressed skepticism of the legal justification for the Trump indictment. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), who voted to impeach Trump twice, said the indictment set “a dangerous precedent for criminalizing political opponents and damages the public’s faith in our justice system.”

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Trump slammed the charges, speaking to a crowd of supporters at Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday night.

“I never thought anything like this could happen in America. Never thought it could happen,” Trump said in his speech. “The only crime that I have committed is to fearlessly defend our nation from those who seek to destroy it.”

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