On Saturday — two days after a grand jury indicted former President Trump, securing his place in history as the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges — a small group of supporters gathered in Orange County to protest the indictment.
During the gathering near the Huntington Beach Pier on Saturday afternoon, the group of roughly 40 people flew “Make America Great Again” flags and chanted “God bless Trump!” At one point, two demonstrators were hit on their heads with skate-boards during a clash.
Because the indictment remains sealed, the pre-cise criminal charges aren’t yet clear, but the inves-tigation presented to the grand jury in New York focused on Trump’s alleged role in a scheme to pay hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels during the final push of his 2016 campaign.
The indictment marks only one of the potential legal problems for Trump, who has declared that he will seek the presidency again in 2024. He also faces investigations into his alleged involvement in 2020 election interference by his supporters and the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, as well as his handling of classified documents after leaving office.
Attorneys for the former president said in a statement that their client didn’t commit any crimes and Republican allies have portrayed Manhattan Dist. Atty. Alvin Bragg, whose office presented the case to the grand jurors, as a far-left prosecutor working to ensure that Trump won’t get elected in 2024.
After he was indicted, Trump — who is expected to be arraigned on Tuesday — put out a statement characterizing the indictment as “Political Persecution” and a “Witch-Hunt” fueled by “Radical Left Democrats.” Some of the demonstrators on Saturday echoed such language, referring to what they called a “fake indictment” and “just a sham.”
A few minutes after noon, two demonstrators were hit with skateboards. One of the victims — a man who had been leading the chants — was bleed-ing from the head but ambulatory. —Agencies