Delegation: Charges are ‘politically motivated’

CASPER – Wyoming’s Washington, D.C. delegation described former president Donald Trump’s indictment Thursday over hush money payments to a porn star as “politically motivated,” despite differing in support toward the 2024 presidential hopeful. 

A Manhattan grand jury voted to indict Trump over his involvement in paying hush money to a porn star, Stormy Daniels, during his 2016 presidential campaign, the New York Times first reported on Thursday. 

The indictment followed an investigation led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg that sought to determine whether Trump had falsified records related to the payments in a way that violated campaign finance laws. 

The payments to Daniels were allegedly made to keep her from sharing that she’d had a sexual encounter with Trump years earlier. 

Trump is also at the center of criminal investigations in Georgia and Washington related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and his handling of classified materials. 

Trump is the first former president to face criminal charges. 

Wyoming’sWashington, D.C. delegation responded similarly to the Thursday news of Trump’s indictment, taking aim at the criminal process centering around his case. 

“This is a politically-motivated prosecution by a far-left activist,” Sen. John Barrasso said in a statement to the Star-Tribune. “If it was anyone other than President Trump, a case like this would never be brought. Instead of ordering political hit jobs, New York prosecutors should focus on getting violent criminals off the streets.” 

While recognizing that “no one is above the law,” Sen. Cynthia Lummis said that she had “concerns these charges are politically motivated.” 

“Previous prosecutors have walked away from this issue, knowing that high-profile, wealthy people like Donald Trump deal with matters such as this like a nuisance lawsuit; they protect family and reputation by paying for the silence of the accuser, regardless of the voracity of the allegations. New York continues to be plagued by violent crime, so it begs the question why the Soros-funded DA is so focused on former President Trump. This thing smells bad.” 

Rep. Harriet Hageman, who was Trump’s pick to unseat his political foe former Rep. Liz Cheney, called the decision to indict Trump “a political witch hunt” and “third world stuff.” 

“It’s a sad day for this country when the political opponents of a former president use the judicial system to weaponize the government and settle scores,” Hageman said in her Thursday statement, accusing Bragg of taking part in “pre-meditated vendetta politics...” against Trump. “This is third world stuff, persecution and political prosecution, and if leftists had any shame they’d be embarrassed.” 

Wyoming’s delegation in the nation’s capitol has been split over Trump, with Hageman firmly backing the former president, while Barrasso and Lummis have been more tepid toward the 2024 presidential hopeful. 

Following Trump’s November announcement of his 2024 presidential bid, a spokesperson for Barrasso told the Star-Tribune that the senator “plans to support the Republican nominee for president.” 

Lummis, who had backed Trump in the past, changed tack on her stance toward the former president, suggesting in a November interview with a Politico reporter that she would support Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over Trump. 

DeSantis, who was easily reelected to be governor of Florida in the 2022 elections, is seen by many as a potential threat to Trump in the 2024 elections. 

Lummis said more recently in a Wyoming News Now interview prior to the news of Trump’s indictment that she’ll “likely be staying neutral in the primary, and will end up supporting whoever emerges from the Republican primary.” 

Hageman, on the other hand, said in a statement following Trump’s announcement that she was “thrilled” the former president had decided to run again and has remained firm in her support for the former president in the wake of his indictment and as multiple criminal investigations centering around him ensue. 

“President Trump was the best president for Wyoming in my lifetime,” she said. “His pro-America policies were fantastic, leading to a booming economy, energy independence, and peace and stability. Our country was far better off, just two years ago before Joe Biden took over.”