Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin‘s public response to news that former President Donald Trump has been indicted by a New York grand jury is premature, according to New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Youngkin swiftly joined a GOP movement to flank Trump as he faces what Trump calls a “witch hunt” and what Youngkin characterizes as a “manufactured” arrest. Youngkin writes that “it is beyond belief that District Attorney Alvin Bragg has indicted a former President.”
Youngkin’s statement isn’t quite accurate. Trump has not been indicted by Bragg, but by a grand jury convened to review the evidence in the case.
[Note: A grand jury is a group of citizens who are tasked with reviewing evidence presented by a prosecutor in order to determine whether there is probable cause to bring criminal charges against a person. The grand jury operates independently of the district attorney or prosecutor’s office, and their decision to indict or not indict is based solely on the evidence presented to them.]
It is beyond belief that District Attorney Alvin Bragg has indicted a former President and current presidential candidate for pure political gain. Arresting a presidential candidate on a manufactured basis should not happen in America.— Glenn Youngkin (@GlennYoungkin) March 30, 2023
But Youngkin’s marginally misleading statement about who did the indicting isn’t the main concern of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. The Congresswoman instead asks Youngkin how he can be certain that Trump’s arrest “should not happen in America” — when the Governor hasn’t seen the indictment and is therefore unfamiliar with the facts presented to the grand jury.
Just one question, Governor: did you even see the indictment before sending this tweet? https://t.co/bAbjoPoYm7— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 31, 2023
Predictably, comments on the Ocasio-Cortez and Youngkin Twitter split reflect the lawmakers’ respective differences in politics, priorities and perspective.
One reader accused Youngkin of being soft on crime, writing: “Oh don’t get so hysterical, Bragg didn’t indict for political gain, he indicted because a grand jury found evidence of a crime. What are you, soft on crime? Do you think criminals should walk free?”
Among the commenters who think Youngkin is right, despite also not having seen the evidence the grand jury considered, is a reader who writes: “The grand jury didn’t ‘find evidence’, it was the 9 DAs, along with Bragg, who placed the ‘evidence’ of lies in front of them…”
No amount of persuasion will likely alter the opinion of the latter commenter, who dismisses outright the due process and legal proceedings leading to the indictment reached by her fellow American citizens on the grand jury, citizens who she asserts are incapable of recognizing lies.
Youngkin, in what Ocasio-Cortez implies is his premature response, makes the same assertion as the commenter as he condemns the legal action against Trump: The Governor asserts that the grand jury composed of American citizens is incapable of separating truth from fiction.