Local political leaders react to historic Trump indictment

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 4:48 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Political leaders from our region are reacting to a historic federal indictment filed against former President Donald Trump that was made public on Friday.

U.S. prosecutors unsealed the 37-count indictment accusing Trump of risking some of the country’s most sensitive security secrets after leaving the White House in 2021. It alleges that Trump “endeavored to obstruct the FBI and grand jury investigations and conceal retention of classified documents.”

We asked local political leaders for their reactions, including Vermont Sen. Peter Welch and Vermont GOP Chair Paul Dame. Dame said this won’t do much to change people’s political views, while Welch echoed the law of the land.

“The rule of law is absolutely vital to the well-being of our democracy. And we’ve got to let the prosecution process work its will. This ultimately will be up to a jury,” said Welch, D-Vermont.

“I think that there’s not a lot of people who are gonna change their mind on this. People are gonna become more entrenched in their position of either defending Trump out of loyalty or deciding to move on because of the media circus,” Dame said.

A spokesperson for Republican Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said the governor continues to believe Trump is unfit for office, but notes that everyone is entitled to defend themselves in court.

In a statement, Republican New York Rep. Elise Stefanik continued her full support for Trump and said the American people are smart and understand this is the epitome of the illegal and unprecedented weaponization of the federal government against Joe Biden’s leading opponent.