Former President Donald Trump accused Democrats on Thursday of both political persecution and election interference as he reacted to news that a Manhattan grand jury has indicted him.

“This is Political Persecution and Election Interference at the highest level in history,” the former president said in a lengthy statement. “From the time I came down the golden escalator at Trump Tower, and even before I was sworn in as your President of the United States, the Radical Left Democrats – the enemy of the hard-working men and women of this Country – have been engaged in a Witch-Hunt to destroy the Make America Great Again movement.”

The charges against Trump revolve around supposed hush-money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 presidential election. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg led the investigation and on Thursday, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office filed the charges under seal, according to The New York Times.

Trump is expected to be asked to surrender to authorities in the coming days. The details of the charges remain unknown for now.  

The former president reminded Americans in a Thursday statement of the various political persecutions he has faced from the Democratic Party: “Russia, Russia, Russia; the Mueller Hoax; Ukraine, Ukraine, Ukraine; Impeachment Hoax 1; Impeachment Hoax 2; the illegal and unconstitutional Mar-a-Lago raid; and now this.”

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Waco Regional Airport on March 25, 2023, in Waco, Texas. (Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

“The Democrats have lied, cheated and stolen in their obsession with trying to ‘Get Trump,’ but now they’ve done the unthinkable – indicting a completely innocent person in an act of blatant Election Interference,” he added.

Trump also emphasized that this has never before happened in United States history.

“The Democrats have cheated countless times over the decades, including spying on my campaign, but weaponizing our justice system to punish a political opponent, who just so happens to be a President of the United States and by far the leading Republican candidate for President, has never happened before,” he said. “Ever.”

The former president also heavily criticized Bragg, saying that he was “hand-picked and funded by George Soros.”

“Rather than stopping the unprecedented crime wave taking over New York City, he’s doing [President] Joe Biden’s dirty work, ignoring the murders and burglaries and assaults he should be focused on,” Trump said. “This is how Bragg spends his time!”

“I believe this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden,” he added. “The American people realize exactly what the Radical Left Democrats are doing here. Everyone can see it. So our Movement, and our Party – united and strong – will first defeat Alvin Bragg, and then we will defeat Joe Biden, and we are going to throw every last one of these Crooked Democrats out of office so we can MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

Following news of the indictment, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, called the move “un-American” and announced that he would not assist in extraditing Trump.

“The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head,” he said. “It is un-American. The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is stretching the law to target a political opponent.”

“Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue with this Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda,” he added.

Trump further reacted to the news on Thursday evening in a post on Truth Social, his social media platform.

“These Thugs and Radical Left Monsters have just INDICATED the 45th President of the United States of America, and the leading Republican Candidate, by far, for the 2024 Nomination for President,” he said, before adding in all caps: “THIS IS AN ATTACK ON OUR COUNTRY THE LIKES OF WHICH HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE. IT IS LIKEWISE A CONTINUING ATTACK ON OUR ONCE FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS. THE USA IS NOW A THIRD WORLD NATION, A NATION IN SERIOUS DECLINE. SO SAD!”

Virginia Allen contributed to this report.

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