Indian-origin US presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy on Saturday slammed the Biden administration for action against former President Donald Trump. He said Trump’s arrest would be a dark moment in American history. His reaction came hours after it was reported that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office had asked for a meeting with law enforcement ahead of a possible indictment of former President Donald Trump next week.
Reports said that Trump, who served as President from 2017 to 2021, could be indicted as soon as the coming week by a Manhattan grand jury and appear in a courtroom in relation to a probe, which is examining the money paid to women who alleged sexual encounters with the former president.
Objecting to this move, Ramaswamy said 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,” he said in a tweet. Ramaswamy said if a Republican prosecutor in 2004 had used a campaign finance technicality to arrest then-candidate John Kerry while George W Bush and Dick Cheney were in power, “liberals would have cried foul – and rightly so”.
“Principles go beyond partisanship. Let the American people decide who governs,” he said, adding that this will mark a dark moment in American history and will undermine public trust in our electoral system itself. “I call on the Manhattan District Attorney to reconsider this action and to put aside partisan politics in service of preserving our Constitutional republic.”
Ramaswamy, an Indian-American techie who officially entered the race last month for the presidential post, said 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 added.
On Friday, four law enforcement officials said there had been no public announcement of any timeframe for the grand jury’s secret work. There is also no potential vote on whether to indict Trump, the Associated Press reported. The officials said the authorities were just preparing in case of an indictment.
They described the conversations as preliminary and were considering security, planning, and the practicalities of a potential court appearance by a former president.
The grand jury has been hearing from witnesses including former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who says he orchestrated payments in 2016 to two women to silence them about sexual encounters they said they had with Trump a decade earlier. Trump has, however, denied the encounters.