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The Hill
The Hill
1 Apr 2023
Julia Shapero

NextImg:These prominent figures have remained silent on Trump indictment

After news broke on Thursday of former President Trump’s indictment over a 2016 hush money payment, Republicans and Democrats alike rushed to offer their two cents on the history-making decision to charge a former president.

While Democrats largely celebrated the indictment as a win for justice, most Republicans denounced the charges as an “unprecedented abuse of power” and a “politically-motivated prosecution.”

However, several prominent figures have remained notably silent on the indictment.

Mitch McConnell

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who has maintained a rocky relationship with Trump over the years, has yet to comment on the former president’s indictment.

McConnell also does not appear to have commented on the case in the lead up to the indictment, as Trump fueled speculation earlier last month that he would be arrested.

The top Senate Republican has walked a careful line when it comes to the former president, largely remaining silent in the face of Trump’s regular attacks.

John Thune

Senate Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) has also not chimed in with his thoughts on the indictment, either before or after Thursday’s news broke.

Like McConnell, Thune has also distanced himself from the former president. In December, Thune said he hoped Republicans would have “other options” in the 2024 presidential election beyond Trump.

Kristi Noem

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R), a longtime supporter of Trump, has been floated both as a potential 2024 contender and a potential running mate of the former president.

However, Noem, who has yet to offer her opinion on the indictment, has also lightly criticized Trump in recent months, suggesting in November that the former president doesn’t represent “the best chance” for the Republican Party in 2024.

Liz Cheney

Former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) became an outspoken critic of Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, leading the charge to investigate the riot as one of only two Republicans on the Jan. 6 committee.

Cheney has continued to criticize Trump and her fellow Republicans since being ousted from office last year, but she has yet to comment on the hush money indictment.

Chris Christie

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), a onetime Trump ally turned critic, has yet to comment on the official indictment but questioned Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s (D) priorities last month, as charges appeared imminent.

“I don’t think this is the crime of the century, and it’s certainly not a case that is going to improve, as I said, the everyday lives of the citizens of Manhattan,” Christie told Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade.

Larry Hogan

Another Trump critic, former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), does not appear to have commented on the indictment.

Hogan, who has previously said he did not vote for Trump in the 2020 election, recently ruled out launching a competing bid against the former president for the Republican nomination. However, he later said he would still consider a third-party bid for the White House.

President Biden

President Biden has firmly chosen to stay out of the indictment discussions.

“I have no comment on Trump,” Biden said on Friday, after reporters asked him multiple times about the former president.

In the face of additional indictment-related questions, he reiterated, “I’m not going to talk about the Trump indictment.”

Hillary Clinton

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also remained silent on the former president’s indictment, which is related to her 2016 race against Trump. 

The criminal charges brought against Trump come in connection with a $130,000 hush money payment made to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 election to buy her silence about an alleged affair with the former president.