Maine’s congressional delegation members are mostly withholding judgment so far about the unprecedented indictment of former President Trump in a criminal case involving classified documents and details made public in court documents Friday.

“Today’s announcement is the very beginning of the justice process. While this case is unusual, the underlying principles of equal justice under the law and innocence until proven guilty are not,” Sen. Angus King said in a statement. “Under our system, the next steps place a heavy burden on the prosecution – to prove any charges beyond a reasonable doubt. The former president, like any other citizen, then has every right to present his defense.”

Maine’s senior senator, Susan Collins – the only Republican delegation member – was similarly reserved.

“The American justice system is based on the principle that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” Collins said in a statement. “Former President Trump is entitled to that same presumption of innocence, as is every other American.”

Amid the flurry of congressional reactions to Thursday’s news of Trump’s indictment, predictable patterns emerged.

With few exceptions, Republicans lined up in support of Trump and characterized the latest action by Department of Justice special prosecutor Jack Smith as politically motivated.


Trump remains the standard bearer in the Republican Party, not to mention the front-runner for the 2024 presidential nomination, even amid his mounting legal woes.

Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, who has called out Trump in the past, issued perhaps the most damning comment of any Republican member of Congress.

“By all appearances, the Justice Department and special counsel have exercised due care, affording Mr. Trump the time and opportunity to avoid charges that would not generally have been afforded to others,” he said. “Mr. Trump brought these charges upon himself by not only taking classified documents, but by refusing to simply return them when given numerous opportunities to do so.

“These allegations are serious and if proven, would be consistent with his other actions offensive to the national interest, such as withholding defensive weapons from Ukraine for political reasons and failing to defend the Capitol from violent attack and insurrection.”

Many Democrats welcomed the news with hope that Trump might finally be held accountable for his actions, although some were cautious not to say too much while details about the recent charges remain scant.

Rep. Chellie Pingree was pointed in her comments.

“To say that America is in uncharted waters this morning would be an understatement,” she said. “As dark a moment as this represents, that a former chief executive can be held responsible for their crimes is a sign not of America’s weakness but great national strength. Our legal system holding Mr. Trump to account represents an essential element to preserving our democracy. I know that Donald Trump will receive a fair trial and sincerely hope that justice will be done.”

U.S. Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat who represents Maine’s 2nd District, was less so.

“No one is above the law,” he said in a statement. “Our legal system is built upon the principle of innocence until proven guilty and we should let the process play out without bias or political interference.”

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