Jeb Bush questions Trump indictment, says jury should be ‘the voters’
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who ran for president in 2016, questioned the indictment that the Manhattan grand jury issued against former President Trump on Thursday, saying the jury in deciding the case should be “the voters.”
Bush, the brother of former President George W. Bush, tweeted on Saturday that the case against Trump over the hush-money payment that former Trump attorney Michael Cohen made to adult film star Stormy Daniels ahead of the 2016 presidential election is “very political” and not based on justice.
He also mentioned that other authorities looking into the case other than Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg did not pursue the case.
“Bragg’s predecessor didn’t take up the case. The Justice Department didn’t take up the case,” he said. “Bragg first said he would not take up the case. This is very political, not a matter of justice.”
“In this case, let the jury be the voters,” he added.
Bush’s reference to Bragg’s predecessor is Cyrus Vance Jr., who served as the Manhattan district attorney for more than a decade and began the investigation into the payment.
Vance won a major victory in a legal battle against Trump before the Supreme Court in 2020, receiving access to Trump’s tax returns as part of the investigation. Vance decided to not run for reelection as his term was ending in 2021 and passed the investigation on to Bragg without deciding whether to file charges against Trump.
Cohen, who pleaded guilty to several charges including a campaign finance violation related to the payment, said Trump directed him to make the payment. Trump has denied this and that he had an affair with Daniels.
The Justice Department never brought any charges against Trump related to the payment based on Cohen’s statements.
Bragg also appeared to possibly not intend to further pursue the case against Trump last year when he allowed a grand jury that was empaneled for six months to dissolve without any charges being filed against the former president. Top prosecutors in Bragg’s office, Mark Pomerantz and Carey Dunne, resigned after that grand jury concluded as Bragg signaled some doubts about moving forward with the investigation.
But Bragg later presented evidence to another grand jury that would ultimately approve the indictment against Trump.
Trump and Bush sparred often during the 2016 GOP primaries, with Trump criticizing Bush as “low energy.” The two have continued to not be allies since the election ended.
Trump compared Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a rumored 2024 presidential candidate, to Bush in February, saying that DeSantis “looks up to” people like Bush and former House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), whom Trump has also attacked.
Bush said ahead of the 2020 presidential election that he wanted Trump to face a primary challenger. He has also said as the 2024 election cycle is getting underway that he hopes DeSantis runs in 2024.
Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.