Rochester community reacts to indictment of former president Donald Trump

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. Thursday night’s historic indictment of former president Donald Trump is sending shockwaves around the Rochester community.

News10NBC spoke with University of Rochester political science department director Lawrence Rothenberg, who says the indictment puts America at a historic crossroads, which is a sentiment shared by community members finding out about the indictment. It is a historic indictment, but for many, not a shock.

“It’s not all surprising to me,” Rochester resident Sean Adams said. “I can see where people might think it may be politically motivated but it’s hard for me to see how there can’t be some element to any truth behind it.”

But for others like local Republican congresswoman Claudia Tenney, it’s an example of government overreach.

Tenney called the indictment political persecution with purely malicious intent.
In a statement, she said, “Every American should be concerned about this gross abuse of power and the politicized two-tiered system of justice we now have in America. I once again call on Governor Kathy Hochul to act.”

This is a reaction that University of Rochester political science professor Lawrence Rothenberg says is just a sign of the times.

“This is something that none of us could have imagined, and we could easily imagine people taking to the streets and having civil unrest that we haven’t seen since the 1960s,” Rothenberg said.

Regardless of the outcome, Rothenberg hopes that ultimately justice will prevail.

“The last five to six years has been a very scary time in American politics where one unprecedented action after another has occurred at least within the context of modern 20th and 21st century American politics,” Rothenberg said.

While the contents of the indictment remain under seal, that isn’t keeping locals from speculating on its impact on the upcoming 2024 election.

Former president Trump announced his 2024 campaign back in November and held his most recent campaign event in Waco, Texas, this weekend in which he criticized local DA Alvin Bragg and other proceedings currently pending under the former president.