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March 30, 2023

Schiff Statement on Indictment of President Trump

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) issued the following statement after reports that former President Donald J. Trump has been indicted by a grand jury:

“The indictment of former president Donald J. Trump by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office over his alleged participation in a campaign fraud and hush money scheme that already sent his former attorney Michael Cohen to jail is a sobering and unprecedented development. But if justice demanded that Michael Cohen go to jail for a scheme directed by someone else, justice also requires that the person responsible for directing the scheme must answer for their offenses against the law — and that person is Donald Trump.

“The indictment and arrest of a former president is unique throughout all of American history. But so too is the unlawful conduct for which Trump has been charged, and for the even more grievous misconduct for which he is currently under investigation by a Department of Justice Special Counsel and the Fulton County District Attorney. And there is far more at stake than the legal challenges facing the former president.   

“If we are to be a nation of laws, then we must apply the law equally and to everyone, regardless of their station. Few nations have lived up to this ideal, and our own country has often fallen far too short. But if we are to have justice, if we are to have a rule of law that is meaningful and protective of our democracy, we must hold the rich and powerful to account, even when those persons hold high office — perhaps most importantly, when they hold high office. To do otherwise, because holding a president accountable is controversial or provocative, will not bring order, but breed disorder, and disrespect of the law.

“So, if the grand jury found probable cause to believe Donald J. Trump committed a crime, and the district attorney believes it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, this step, while unprecedented, is also deeply and fundamentally necessary to preserve the rule of law.”