Pa Party Leaders, Election Experts Weigh In on Trump Indictment
HARRISBURG, Pa. (ErieNewsNow) - Following yesterday’s indictment of former President Donald Trump, experts and state party leaders are sharing reaction.
“This has never happened before. We're contemplating questions that didn't have to be thought about before Donald Trump and his presidency,” said Professor Michael Dimino of Widener University Commonwealth Law School.
Dimino says what ultimately ends up happening can have a profound impact on future presidential elections.
“Questions that this case produces do affect candidates for this year's presidential race and future presidential races because they involve a conflict between what New York State is trying to do and how that might influence federal elections,” said Dimino. “Not only do we have some questions about what the federal law requires, we also don't know to what extent the state law might be enforceable against a federal candidate,” he added.
Dimino does not expect the indictment to change the opinions of many voters.
“I think the people who are currently his supporters are going to look at him as being the victim of a politically oriented prosecution and are going to look at him as being martyred. The people who are already opposed to him are going to look at this as yet another reason to be opposed to him,” said Dimino.
Pennsylvania Democrats argue it should discourage voters from voting for the former President.
“Whether he's a criminal or not a criminal, we clearly know he was ashamed of who he was and what he did and how he conducted business- that for the voters should be enough to know there's no way we should put Donald Trump back in office,” said Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia), Party Chair for Pennsylvania Democrats. “It is clear that Donald Trump didn't want the public to know that he had illicit affairs and that he wanted to cover up that information,” Street added.
Pennsylvania Democrats say the several investigations, and now the indictment, point to a concerning pattern with the former President.
“I'll let a court determine whether he's a criminal for trying to cover stuff up. But as a political matter, a guy who doesn't want the public to know who he is probably ought not be in in the highest office in the land. Probably shouldn't be in any office,” said Street. “We've seen Republicans and Democrats across the country get in trouble for not following the rules. It is important that people understand that the law applies to all of us,” he added.
Erie News Now reached out to the Republican Party of Pennsylvania but did not receive a statement. The Conservative Political Action Coalition (CPAC) released the following statement Thursday evening, which reads in part:
"We are appalled and strongly condemn the abuse of power coming from the New York District Attorney. Americans have lost confidence in institutions and government experts because truth has become a casualty to raw political power. The renewed prosecutorial pursuit and indictment of President Trump is an outrageous breach of constitutional norms and a continuation of his maniacal political prosecution...President Donald J. Trump is not the first victim of this abuse, and he will certainly not be the last."