Illinois Republicans react to possible Trump indictment

Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 9:08 PM CDT
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WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) - The presidential election is more than a year away and Donald Trump’s re-election bid could face a heavy hurdle.

“It’s plausible that the fourteenth amendment could be used to keep him from running for president but it’s not at all certain,” said Bob Evans, a political science professor at Rockford University.

Evans says there are a lot of “unknowns” in former president Donald Trump’s legal and political future.

“The impact of what’s going on now depends heavily on something we don’t know yet. How many other republicans will declare?” said Evans.

For some Republicans, the idea of former president Donald Trump withdrawing his run for president is not an option―even if he’s indicted for alleged “hush money” given to Stormy Daniels back in 2016. Prosecutors believe Trump used more than $100,000 of campaign money to buy Daniel’s silence.

“For any group or person or persons to try to target political figures for political gain is wrong, is unethical and is a huge threat to our democracy,” said Republican State Representative Andrew Chesney.

Chesney tells 23 News he find the potential indictment highly suspicious and disgusting.

“This is a continuation of the Democrats party to weaponize certain offices to take out a leader in our party,” said Chesney.

“It’s just crazy, it’s insane I don’t even know what to say about it. I mean you’re using law enforcement to further a political agenda and it just doesn’t make any sense whatsoever,” said State Representative John Cabello (R-68).

Cabello agrees with Chesney that this won’t affect Trump’s campaign. If anything, they think it will help.

Winnebago County Democratic party chairman Charles Laskonis says, he doesn’t buy the argument that we’re litigating something from so long ago because a sitting president couldn’t be indicted. He feels this potential indictment would be served to the former president no matter if he had a “D” or an “R” in front of his name.

“Everybody’s innocent until they are proven guilty. But the rule of law really matters. So if he committed crime and there’s evidence that he did, he’ll have his day in court just like everybody else. Nobody’s above the law and we’ll see where it goes from there. If he committed the crime you know he should not be above the law,” said Laskonis.