‘Dangerous precedent:’ Rep. Carlos Gimenez speaks about Trump indictment

PALM BEACH, Fla. – Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Gimenez, of Miami-Dade County, gave his take Friday on the indictment against former President Donald Trump.

“The only nations that I know of that do these kind of things -- if it’s based on what we know, alright, or what we think we know -- are really third world countries, and I don’t think the United States needs to go down that path,” he said.

The former Miami-Dade mayor said based on what we know so far about the incitement, it seems to be a “purely political act.”

“And it’s something that is very dangerous for the United States, that a local DA could actually indict a former president, and that opens the door to Pandora‘s Box -- it’s opening a can of worms that I don’t think this nation needs to go down,” Gimenez said.

“The information that somehow this was some kind of non-disclosure agreement that was issued back in 2016 -- no federal prosecutor, no federal agencies have pursued criminal charges against this, and now you have a local Manhattan DA that’s doing that, I think that’s a pretty dangerous precedent,” he added.

A small group of demonstrators with a lot to say about the indictment gathered Friday morning outside Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach.

“This is a disgrace, what’s happening,” pro-Trump demonstrator Kevin Hulbert said. “This indictment is a criminal act. I think Alvin Bragg should be disbarred for this.”

Trump supporters waved flags on the Southern Boulevard Bridge that leads to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate, showing their support despite official criminal charges against Trump.

“If this happens, the culture, what’s next? Religion? We’re gonna be a third world country,” one woman said.

Trump was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury Thursday after a probe into hush money payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

Trump is now the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges as he positions himself for another go at the White House.

Hulbert said he doesn’t think this will hurt Trump’s chances of reclaiming the White House.

“It’s gonna wake up a lot of people who may have been indifferent to President Trump before – maybe that didn’t believe that he was a subject being targeted as much as he has been,” he said.

About the Authors:

Saira Anwer joined the Local 10 News team in July 2018. Saira is two-time Emmy-nominated reporter and comes to South Florida from Madison, Wisconsin, where she was working as a reporter and anchor.

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.