East Texas political leaders react to arraignment of former President Trump

June 13, 2023 – Tyler, Texas (KLTV)

East Texas political leaders on both sides of the aisle are reacting to the federal indictments faced by former President Donald Trump, who pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to all of the charges against him.

“I think a lot of this is politicized, but let’s let the process play out,” said Smith County Republican Party Chair David Stein ahead of Trump’s arraignment. “There have been so many others: Russia, Mueller, Steele dossier, all of them. And there is an agenda to try to ‘get President Trump,’ yet if there’s a violation, that will be found out through the process.”

Also watching coverage of the former Republican president’s arraignment on Tuesday was Smith County Democratic Party Chair Hector Garza.

“I can’t remember when the last time something like this happened,” Garza said. “I guess it was Watergate-Nixon that something even similar to this came up.”

Garza disputed claims that the indictments were politically motivated.

“This was a grand jury of people just like you and I that reviewed all the allegations. And they said ‘okay, we have a strong enough case to go forward with the indictments.’”

So, how does this affect the 2024 election? Stein said Republicans must rally behind Trump if he’s selected as the party’s nominee, while Garza believes the charges will help President Joe Biden win reelection.

“President Trump has his unwavering supporters. He had an amazing track record as president, and he also had baggage that came with it, but the record does speak for itself. We had a very good run with him from a policy standpoint in those four years.”

“I think Biden has a very good chance of continuing and doing his next four years,” said Garza. “ It all really depends on who gets in there. But the numbers are getting better, the circumstances are getting better, so I see him being reelected again. Especially with all the chaos going on.”

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