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Jewish political leaders respond to criminal indictment of Trump

The Republican Jewish Coalition called the decision “perilous” and “suspect,” insisting that “our country deserves better.”

Then-U.S. President Donald Trump carries an umbrella as he walks from Marine One to board Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on June 20, 2020, en route to Tulsa, Okla. Credit: Tia Dufour/The White House.
Then-U.S. President Donald Trump carries an umbrella as he walks from Marine One to board Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, Md., on June 20, 2020, en route to Tulsa, Okla. Credit: Tia Dufour/The White House.

Just as Jewish views on Donald Trump’s presidency varied widely, so, too, did responses from Jewish organizations and leaders following a New York grand jury’s indictment of the former president.

The Republican Jewish Coalition called the decision “perilous” and “suspect,” insisting that “our country deserves better.” It added that New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg is a “partisan prosecutor.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to run for president in 2024, tweeted that the prosecution is “un-American” and a “weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head.” In the tweet, he twice referred to Bragg as “Soros-backed,” referring to Hungarian-born billionaire businessman George Soros, who is Jewish.

Trump has also blamed his indictment on Soros, and in a fundraising email this month called him a “billionaire puppeteer who has wreaked havoc on our borders, our justice system and our nation.”

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) tweeted that DeSantis had “advanced antisemitic lies,” presumably by referencing Soros.

Schiff, who is Jewish and served as the lead prosecutor in the first impeachment trial of Trump, added in another tweet: “The indictment of a former president is unprecedented. But so, too, is the unlawful conduct in which Trump has been engaged.”

The Jewish Democratic Council of America struck a different tone on Twitter. “Today is a historic day for justice,” it wrote. “Jewish Dems support the rule of law and commend the hard-working employees of the Manhattan DA’s office for their service to the nation.”

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