Elections 2024Federal‘Weaponization of Justice’: Trump Indictment Provokes Strong Reactions from Texas Officials

Both Republican and Democratic officials in Texas weighed in on the unprecedented charges against the former president.
March 31, 2023
The announcement on Thursday of a Manhattan grand jury’s vote to indict former U.S. President and current presidential candidate Donald Trump on criminal charges sent shockwaves across the nation, with numerous Texas officials weighing in with their views on the charges. 

Trump recently predicted before his campaign rally in Waco last week that he would be indicted, but when charges didn’t appear at that time, many began to speculate that the decision to charge would occur much later, if at all. 

Alvin Bragg, a Democrat who was elected as the district attorney of Manhattan in 2021, brought the charges against Trump and announced his office was in communication with Trump’s attorneys to discuss plans for the former president’s surrender, which will require that Trump undergo the usual booking process for criminal charges. 

While the indictment is still under seal, numerous reports indicate the charges are related to a six-year-old case regarding alleged hush money paid to adult film star Stormy Daniels. One legal analyst told NPR the charges would likely be related to a New York statute relating to falsifying business records. 

Bragg has made a mission of targeting those in Trump’s political circle, which includes indictments against former White House advisor Steve Bannon and the conviction of Allen Weissellberg, former CFO of Trump’s business operations, for tax evasion. 

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The charges against Trump mark an unprecedented moment in American political history and have provoked outrage from those who see the move as a politicized attack, including numerous Texas officials. 

“Weaponization of our courts for political grievances is an abhorrent abuse of power,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted in reaction to the news, adding, “The George Soros-supported NYC DA is only furthering the radical liberal agenda to have elections determined at the jury box rather than the ballot box. America deserves better.” 

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who leads the 2024 Trump campaign efforts in Texas, described the charges as “political prosecutions.” 

“Political prosecutions, the Left’s new favorite weapon, will be their own undoing,” Patrick tweeted, saying the decision will divide the nation. “Americans of every stripe understand that this perversion of our system of justice will further divide our nation and destroy our Republic.” 

Sen. Ted Cruz  (R-TX) made multiple statements blasting the indictment. 

“The Democrat Party’s hatred for Donald Trump knows no bounds. The ‘substance’ of this political persecution is utter garbage,” Cruz tweeted. “This is completely unprecedented and is a catastrophic escalation in the weaponization of the justice system.”

In a second tweet, Cruz lambasted Bragg. 

“Today is an absolute outrage and tragic day for our country,” he wrote, further stating, “This left-wing Soros DA has decided to use the power of his office to indict Donald Trump — facts and law be damned!” 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton also blasted the charges, echoing concerns from Cruz and Abbott that Blagg’s backing by progressive billionaire George Soros indicates political motivations for the charges. 

“The radical left has consistently weaponized our courts to silence conservative voices. The actions by the Soros-backed Democrat DA in NYC is the latest example of this abuse of power,” Paxton tweeted. “I stand with President Trump.” 

Texas congressional members also weighed in. 

“A Manhattan Grand Jury at the behest of a weaponized prosecutor; who received a million dollars from Soros, has indicted a former U.S. President.  This unprecedented attack against Trump is an assault on everything we hold sacred about our Republic,” Rep. Wesley Hunt (R-TX-38) tweeted. “If they can come for him, they can come for you.  Our judicial system is not blind or just, it has been weaponized by dangerous people hellbent on remaking our nation into something unrecognizable.” 

“The indictment against President Trump by a radical Manhattan DA is a joke,” Rep. August Pfluger  (R-TX-11) tweeted. “We cannot allow this weaponization of our justice system to stand.” 

Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX-25 ) issued a lengthy statement criticizing the indictment, writing, “Make no mistake, this crazy move by the rogue liberal extremist NY DA is an attack on the American People. This is no doubt an attempt by the far left to silence voters who support Donald Trump. Democrats have fully weaponized our justice system for political purposes. This is a threat to the American people. We are fed up. We must save our country. I stand with President Trump.” 

Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX-22) took to Twitter to express his solidarity with Trump, writing, “I stand with President Donald J. Trump. Do you?” 

Texas state lawmakers have also weighed in. 

Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) equated the charges to communist tactics, writing, 

“Trump’s indictment reflects methods Stalin and his Communist Party used to destroy their political opponents.” 

Rep. Jeff Leach (R-Plano), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, expressed concern that the justice system was being politically weaponized. 

“Today’s indictment of former President Trump — led by a hyper-partisan, progressive radical District Attorney — is a chilling example of the justice system being politically weaponized against Americans,” Leach wrote. “Those of us who care about the rule of law should & must push back.”

Texas Democrats have been largely silent on the indictment, in contrast with their national political counterparts. 

Two Democrats that have weighed in, however, include Joaquin and Julian Castro — brothers who both play a significant role in Texas politics on the national level. 

Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20) expressed he was pleased with the news, writing “May justice be served, finally.”

Julian Castro, who served as the secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Obama, gave a more detailed response, explaining how he believes the charges will impact the presidential election and who Republicans will choose. 

“Trump won’t be prosecuted overnight. It’ll take a while,” Castro wrote, concluding, “So the next few months will reveal whether enough GOP voters are willing to ditch Trump for a shot to win the White House or if they just can’t quit him, even if it means losing to Dems up and down the ballot in 2024.” 

Several reports indicate that Trump may travel to New York as soon as Tuesday to be processed and arraigned on the criminal charges. 


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Matt Stringer

Matt Stringer is a reporter for The Texan who writes about all things government, politics, and public policy. He graduated from Odessa College with an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies and a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Leadership. In his free time, you will find him in the great outdoors, usually in the Davis Mountains and Big Bend region of Southwest Texas.