Quick Takes

3 Republicans running for Kentucky governor decry Trump indictment as politically motivated

By: - March 30, 2023 8:22 pm

In December 2019, then-President Donald Trump and then-Ambassador Kelly Craft spoke to the media during a luncheon with representatives of the United Nations Security Council in the Cabinet Room at the White House. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Editor’s note: This story was updated with a comment from Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles.

FRANKFORT — Kentucky Republicans running for governor are decrying the indictment of former President Donald Trump as politics.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron
Daniel Cameron (Photo by Jon Cherry/Getty Images)

Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who was endorsed by Trump in June 2022, called the indictment “politically motivated,” in a statement shared on social media

“Like many Kentuckians, I’m appalled by the political weaponization of our justice system against President Trump,” Cameron said. “The Manhattan DA is choosing to downplay violent felonies that are occurring in his district every day in favor of a politically motivated prosecution, because it appeases the desires of the far-left. These actions are the exact opposite of how voters expect us to treat the law.”

Another Republican in Kentucky’s gubernatorial race, former United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft, tweeted that the left “will stop at nothing, including political prosecution, to stop President Donald Trump.” As president, Trump first appointed Craft U.S. ambassador to Canada and then U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. 

“It’s a sad day. The Left has long weaponized government agencies to go after conservatives. Just look what Barack Obama’s DOJ and IRS did and now Biden is continuing it. It’s time that we put a stop to this abuse of power,” Craft wrote.

“Leftists will stop at nothing, including political prosecution, to stop President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, Biden and George Soros-backed District Attorneys let criminals walk the streets. This must end.”

Ryan Quarles spoke with journalists following a March 7 debate. (Kentucky Lantern photo by McKenna Horsley)

Another governor candidate, Republican Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, tweeted a thread denouncing the indictment.

“The New York City DA is spending his time in office focused on going after President Trump instead of prosecuting violent crime,” Quarles said.

“This should come as no surprise since he spent his time openly campaigning for office with a plan to put President Trump behind bars. It reeks of political retribution.”

News outlets reported Thursday that a grand jury indicted the president on charges stemming from payments made to quiet claims of an extramarital affair during the 2016 presidential campaign. The indictment makes Trump the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges, the Associated Press said. 

In his own statement Trump called the indictment “Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history,” as he is seeking reelection in 2024. Multiple reports say Trump’s arraignment is expected next. 

After the Louisville GOP debate on March 7, Cameron told reporters that he still supported Trump’s reelection campaign. 

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McKenna Horsley
McKenna Horsley

McKenna Horsley covers state politics for the Kentucky Lantern. She previously worked for newspapers in Huntington, West Virginia, and Frankfort, Kentucky. She is from northeastern Kentucky.