CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Local reaction continues to pour in over the indictment of former President Donald Trump. People in both political parties in West Virginia are speaking out, and their opinions could not be further apart.
The former President was indicted by the Manhattan Grand Jury in New York on Thursday, but since the indictment remains sealed, no one knows the exact content of the charges.
But it is widely known that the district attorney was investigating a payment made by adult film star Stormy Daniels, who claimed to have had an affair with Trump before he was elected.
Former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen said he paid Daniels for her silence during the 2016 campaign and was then reimbursed by a Trump company for legal expenses. Since that could constitute improper business billing in New York, it could be the main charge.
Here in West Virginia, the parties are sharply divided.
“In this case, it looks like there was a witch hunt to get Donald Trump. And this has really been in place since he came down that escalator in 2015. This has to stop. The idea of prosecuting people, instead of looking for real crimes,” said State Sen. Mike Stuart, (R) Kanawha, who once served as U.S. Attorney under President Trump.
“It is definitely a sad day in American history when we have a former president being indicted. But I think we should be proud to live in a country where everybody gets their due process. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Yet nobody, nobody is above the law,” said Del. Mike Pushkin, (D) Kanawha, who is also the West Virginia Democratic Party Chair.
Governor Jim Justice and Attorney General Patrick Morrisey – both Republicans – issued statements criticizing the Trump indictment, as did Republican U.S. House members Alex Mooney and Carol Miller.