Indian-American and US presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy on Saturday accused the Biden government of using ‘police power to arrest political rivals’ after former president Donald Trump announced on social media that he could be arrested next week. Calling Trump’s possible indictment in the alleged cover up of hush money payments to a porn star in 2016 a ‘national disaster’, Ramaswamy said that the move will subvert citizens’ trust in the voting system.
He tweeted, “A Trump indictment would be a national disaster. It is un-American for the ruling party to use police power to arrest its political rivals. If a Republican prosecutor in 2004 had used a campaign finance technicality to arrest then-candidate John Kerry while Bush & Cheney were in power, liberals would have cried foul – and rightly so. Principles go beyond partisanship…This will mark a dark moment in American history and will undermine public trust in our electoral system itself.”
The Republican presidential hopeful came out strongly against Trump’s prosecution hours after it was reported that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office had asked for a meeting with law enforcement ahead of a potential indictment of Trump.
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“Prosecutors should apply the same standards as they would to anyone else: this wouldn’t have been a criminal prosecution in any other case (a misdemeanor at most). No doubt about it. Our entire country is skating on thin ice right now & we cannot afford to politicize the justice system or else we will reach our breaking point,” he wrote in another tweet.
Exhorting that Americans should be allowed to choose who governs them, he urged the Manhattan District Attorney to ‘reconsider this action and to put aside partisan politics in order to protect the Constitutional republic’.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has presented evidence to a New York grand jury about a $130,000 payment made by Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign to porn star Stormy Daniels, who threatened to go public about an alleged affair. Trump has denied the allegations, and his lawyer has accused Daniels of extortion.
Slamming the Republican party’s ‘deafening’ silence over news of Trump’s possible indictment, Ramaswamy asked fellow presidential candidates Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley to urge Bragg to ‘abandon the political persecution of the 45th president of the US’.
“This is about principle, not a person. This is about our country, not one man. The silence from the rest of the GOP field is deafening,” he said. “That is not the America I know. That is not America my parents came to. That is not the America our founding fathers set in motion 250 years ago. That is the stuff of a Banana Republic.”
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Citing a leak from the Manhattan district attorney’s office, Trump on Saturday claimed on his Truth Social platform that he was expecting to get ‘arrested’ on Tuesday and called on his supporters to protest.
According to a Reuters report quoting legal experts, any trial involving Trump, who served as the US President from 2017 to 2021, could coincide with the final months of the 2024 campaign as he seeks a reelection to the White House.
(With agency inputs)