Hillary Clinton said she did not “feel any satisfaction” about Donald Trump’s extreme legal predicament, as 13 more criminal charges were leveled against the former president in Georgia on Monday night. Instead, the former senator, secretary of state and presidential nominee said, she felt “great profound sadness”.
Clinton, 75, lost the 2016 election to Trump. On Monday, she was booked on MSNBC in part to discuss a new essay in the Atlantic, about the problem of loneliness in US society. But then news broke of Trump’s latest indictments, over his election subversion in Georgia in 2020.
“I didn’t think that [the appearance] would be under these circumstances, yet another set of indictments,” Clinton said, laughing.
“It’s hard to believe,” she said. “I don’t feel any satisfaction. I feel great profound sadness that we have a former president who has been indicted for so many charges that went right to the heart of whether or not our democracy would survive.”
The former president, 77, now faces 91 charges in four investigations: in Georgia, in New York (over hush-money payments to an adult film actor), and at the federal level over election subversion and his retention of classified records.
Regardless, Trump dominates Republican polling regarding the presidential nomination next year, leading his nearest rivals by more than 30 points. On Monday night, leading Republicans rallied to his defence, claiming as he did his innocence in the face of political persecution.
The Fulton county district attorney, Fani Willis, charged 19 people in all, including leading Trump aides Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows and John Eastman, for their parts in the attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s win in Georgia.
Clinton continued: “If you stop and think about what the public evidence is … [Trump] set out to defraud the United States of America and the citizens of our nation.
“He used tactics, harassment, intimidation, he made threats, he and his allies went after state officials, local officials responsible for conducting elections. Now we know they even went into voting machines in order to determine whether or not those voting machines had somehow been breached when they were the ones actually doing the breaching.
“So there is a great deal already in the public record … clearly this investigation has been very thorough. But I don’t know that anybody should be satisfied with this. This is a terrible moment for our country to have a former president accused of these terribly important crimes.”
In 2016, Trump regularly accused Clinton of wrongdoing, stoking chants of “lock her up” at his rallies. Last month, CNN unearthed comments from just before the election, in which Trump said a president under indictment and facing criminal trial would “create an unprecedented constitutional crisis” and “cripple the operations of government”.
Trump now faces four criminal trials and one civil trial, scheduled to coincide with the Republican primary.
Clinton told MSNBC: “The only satisfaction may be that the system is working. That all of the efforts by Donald Trump his allies and his enablers to try to silence the truth, to try to undermine democracy, have been brought into the light and justice is being pursued.”