Hamilton County GOP joins criticism of possible Trump arrest. 'Weaponizing law enforcement'
Soon after former President Donald Trump posted he would be arrested on Tuesday, some local Republicans jumped to his defense.
The Hamilton County Republican Party, led by a former judge and assistant prosecutor, on Tuesday joined the outrage over a possible indictment of Trump.
The Manhattan district attorney is investigating Trump for a $130,000 payment he made just before the 2016 election to silence adult film star Stormy Daniels about an earlier affair. The former president has denied wrongdoing.
In an early Saturday post on Truth Social, Trump urged his supporters to protest.
Here's what local Republicans had to say.
Hamilton County Republican Party
Trump did not break the law, said Russell Mock, the newly-elected Hamilton County Republican Party chairman and former judge.
"I’m not going weigh in on the morality of the situation," said Mock, a former judge who served on the Ohio Court of Appeals and Hamilton County Municipal Court. "From a legal standpoint, I don’t think paying her to remain quiet about her story is illegal."
Mock authored a statement on behalf of the Hamilton County Republican Party criticizing the possible prosecution of Trump as "weaponizing law enforcement against political rivals."
MoreHamilton County Republican Party Chairman Russell Mock says job is to 'unite the party'
"This tactic has no place in America," the Hamilton County Republican Party statement read. "Make no mistake, bringing politically motivated charges against a former president will undermine our confidence in the judicial system and will send a chilling effect throughout the entire country."
The statement attacked the Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg as "George Soros funded" and called crime in New York City "out of control."
Soros, the billionaire who is a common target of right-wing angst, supported the Color of Change Political Action Committee which in turn supported Bragg's campaign, according to the New York Times.
As far as crime, major crimes in New York City increased 22% in 2022 compared to 2021, according to the New York Times. The increase was driven by crimes such as robbery and burglary, the Times reported.
Homicides in New York dipped in 2022 to their lowest levels since 2019.
Sen. J.D. Vance
Ohio Sen. J.D. Vance, who courted and won Trump's endorsement during his successful campaign in 2022, obliged within hours of Trump's post calling for support. In a tweet on Saturday morning, the East Walnut Hills Republican took aim at the Manhattan district attorney, accusing Bragg of being "bought by George Soros."
Vance pledged his support of Trump would not waver if Trump gets indicted.
"I've been asked by multiple reporters if an indictment would lead me to rescind my endorsement of Donald Trump," Vance tweeted Saturday morning. "The answer is: hell no. A politically motivated prosecution makes the argument for Trump stronger. We simply don't have a real country if justice depends on politics."
I've been asked by multiple reporters if an indictment would lead me to rescind my endorsement of Donald Trump. The answer is: hell no. A politically motivated prosecution makes the argument for Trump stronger. We simply don't have a real country if justice depends on politics.
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) March 18, 2023
Rep. Warren Davidson
Rep. Warren Davidson, a Republican from Troy who represents the western half of Hamilton County and Butler County, tweeted that he doesn't condone paying hush money to porn stars but doesn't think it's criminal.
"The American people are sick and tired of DOJ, the state of New York, and others ignoring actual crime while working to ruin Donald Trump as they develop novel legal theories, abuse justice, and divide the nation," Davidson tweeted.
Paying 2x an average American’s income in hush money to a porn star is certainly immoral, but not criminal. Saying it should be is a different argument.
The American people are sick and tired of DOJ, the state of New York, and others ignoring actual crime while working to ruin… https://t.co/egzGsDwpP3
— Warren Davidson 🇺🇸 (@WarrenDavidson) March 19, 2023
Rep. Thomas Massie
Rep. Thomas Massie, a Republican from Garrison who represents Northern Kentucky, slammed key witness Michael Cohen, Trump's former attorney. Cohen, who has already served prison time in connection with this and other cases, has claimed Trump personally instructed him to pay Daniels.
"Disbarred attorney Michael Cohen is the least credible witness I ever questioned during my time on the House Oversight Committee," Massie tweeted. "He admits that as President Trump’s attorney, he took unsolicited actions and offered “legal advice” without concern for underlying legality."
Disbarred attorney Michael Cohen is the least credible witness I ever questioned during my time on the House Oversight Committee. He admits that as President Trump’s attorney, he took unsolicited actions and offered “legal advice” without concern for underlying legality. pic.twitter.com/oyq3mIw7Wu
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) March 20, 2023
Vivek Ramaswamy, a St. Xavier High School graduate and one of three GOP presidential candidates, has called on other GOP presidential candidates to condemn the potential Trump indictment. He called it a "disastrously politicized prosecution."
"I pray that the DA does the right thing: we’re skating on thin ice as a country right now. We need a national revival, not a national divorce."
I called on my fellow GOP candidates @RonDeSantisFL and @NikkiHaley to join me in condemning the potential Trump indictment because those of us *running against Trump* can most credibly call on the Manhattan DA to abandon this disastrously politicized prosecution. I pray that the… https://t.co/di9i467BWz pic.twitter.com/OZLKzroAju
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) March 19, 2023
Kentucky Republican gubernatorial candidate and Northern Kentucky resident Eric Deters is organizing a rally on Tuesday in support of Trump. Deters has held rallies on his farm in Morningview with Trump's children.
This rally will be at a bar, Boonedocks Pub and Grub, in Union, Ky. on Tuesday starting at 7 p.m.
Boonedocks Pub and Grub
All Trump supporters!
We are set Tuesday evening 7pm
See you there!
Spread the word! https://t.co/tB6E6uyREU
— Eric Deters (@bulllaw) March 20, 2023
Ohio GOP Chairman Alex Triantafilou tweeted a link to a Wall Street Journal editorial condemning a potential prosecution of Trump.
"Even they know that this prosecution is a joke, dangerous, and totally politically motivated," Triantafilou tweeted. "The NY District Attorney should end this now."
The @WSJ is never afraid to criticize the former POTUS. But even they know that this prosecution is a joke, dangerous, and totally politically motivated. The NY District Attorney should end this now. https://t.co/R6eiTcYBvv
— Alex Triantafilou (@ChairmanAlex) March 19, 2023
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: What do Cincinnati Republicans say about possible Trump arrest