Ahead of arraignment, Illinois lawmakers past and present react to former president’s indictment | Illinois

(The Center Square) – As former President Donald Trump surrenders to authorities Tuesday, there is no shortage of reactions from Illinois politicians on the matter.  

A New York grand jury voted to indict Trump on charges alleging he made payments during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence claims of an extramarital sexual encounter.

In a lengthy statement, Trump called the indictment “political persecution and election interference.” Trump announced last year he is seeking to get the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election. 

U.S. Rep. Mary Miller, R-Oakland, a Trump supporter, called the indictment a “blatant political weaponization of the justice system.”

Illinois state Rep. Blaine Wilhour, R-Beecher City, said the charges against Trump are ridiculous. 

“This is literally what you see from tin pot dictators in third world countries,” Wilhour told The Center Square. “Weaponizing the legal system against a political opponent for what is at best a [Federal Elections Commission] violation.”   

Illinois U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Springfield, tweeted that Trump “should be afforded the due process protections that he is guaranteed by our Constitution, just like any other American, but no one is above the law, not even a former president.”

Even former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich chimed in. He told Fox News that the Democratic Party needs to stand up against political prosecutions.

“I would say to my fellow Democrats, put your country above your hatred for Trump and be against this weaponization of prosecutions by political people who have uncontrolled power and are going to destroy our freedoms,” he said.   

In February 2020, Trump commuted Blagojevich’s 14-year corruption prison sentence after serving eight years.

Trump said he plans to make a statement after the arraignment proceedings Tuesday evening.

The indictment against Trump is the first-ever criminal case against a former U.S. president.

This article First appeared in the center square

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