CLEVELAND (WJW) – Ohio political leaders are speaking out after former President Donald Trump was indicted Thursday evening.

Trump is facing criminal charges for his possible role in organizing hush money payments to Stormy Daniels during his 2016 campaign. This is the first time a former president has faced criminal charges.

Ohio Senator JD Vance (R) released a statement, calling the indictment, “political persecution masquerading as law.”

“Alvin Bragg’s decision to indict him is blatant election interference and a direct assault to tens of millions of Americans who support him,” Vance said, in part. “This entire charade is predicated on an unprecedented, doomed-to-fail theory and a baseless misdemeanor charge from seven years ago.”

Vance went on to say, in the midst of this, Americans are struggling to put food on the table.

“Violent crime is running rampant in our cities, and thousands have been poisoned by the fentanyl pouring across our southern border,” Vance said. “Instead of working to improve the lives of the Americans they are supposed to represent, the ruling party is focused on kneecapping their greatest threat in the next election.”

Meanwhile, Ohio Representative Shontel Brown (D) also released a statement.

“Our commitment to justice is fundamental to our identity as Americans: no one is above the law,” Brown said. “It is our responsibility as a democratic nation to hold unlawful acts accountable through our judicial system, and it is essential that the judicial process remain unimpeded by any form of interference.”

Congressman Bob Latta (R) also released a statement.

“The indictment of a former President of the United States is an unprecedented and serious matter, and the American people deserve answers on the indictment,” Latta said. “The sealed indictment – if based on the case that was dismissed by federal prosecutors seven years ago – is suspicious and seemingly politically motivated. I will be following this situation closely as it unfolds.”

In a tweet, a spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said, “This evening we contacted Mr. Trump’s attorney to coordinate his surrender to the Manhattan D.A.’s Office for arraignment on a Supreme Court indictment, which remains under seal. Guidance will be provided when the arraignment date is selected.”

Trump released his own statement on the indictment earlier.