Less than an hour after a grand jury in Atlanta returned indictments in the 2020 election interference case in Georgia, Hillary Clinton on Monday called the developments “a terrible moment for our country.”
The indictment, released late on Monday evening, charges former President Donald J. Trump in a sprawling case. Before the charges were made public, Mrs. Clinton gave a previously scheduled late-night interview on MSNBC. She said that she felt “great profound sadness” that the former president had already been indicted on so many other charges that “went right to the heart of whether or not our democracy would survive.”
“Do you feel satisfaction in that you warned the country, essentially, that he was going to try to end democracy?” the anchor, Rachel Maddow, asked Mrs. Clinton, a former secretary of state and former first lady.
“I don’t feel any satisfaction,” Mrs. Clinton responded, adding that she did not know whether “anybody should be satisfied.” “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.”
In addition to the Georgia case, Mr. Trump has been charged in federal court with carrying out a concerted effort in six states, including Georgia, to prevent Congress from certifying President Biden’s victory. He has been charged in a federal court in Florida with mishandling classified documents, and in state court in New York in relation to hush-money paid to a porn star during the 2016 campaign.
Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump’s Democratic presidential rival in 2016, has been a target of Mr. Trump and his Republican allies as he has come under investigation.
Since Mr. Trump became the first former U.S. president to face federal charges, Republicans have repeatedly referred to the Justice Department’s decision in 2016 not to bring charges against Mrs. Clinton for her use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. But several official investigations have found that Mrs. Clinton did not systematically or deliberately mishandle classified material. In 2018, a report by the inspector general supported the F.B.I.’s decision not to charge Mrs. Clinton.
On Monday night, she praised Mr. Biden’s leadership and fired back at a Republican Party that she suggested had lost its backbone and conscience, saying Americans needed to use the rule of law and elections “to defeat those who want to weaponize divisiveness, who want to undermine democratic values and institutions.”
Ms. Clinton described the attack on the nation’s election system as the most critical in a long line of efforts to undermine the public’s trust in voting and democracy. “What happened on Jan. 6 — ‘Don’t believe what you saw, believe what I tell you’ — those are all the hallmarks of authoritarian, dictatorial kinds of leaders,” she said, calling 2024 a crucial moment in defeating anti-American political ideas and values.