OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma leaders are reacting after a Manhattan grand jury voted Thursday to indict Donald Trump on charges involving payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign to silence claims of an extramarital sexual encounter, the first ever criminal case against a former U.S. president.

Trump, who has denied any wrongdoing and has repeatedly attacked the investigation, called the indictment “political persecution” and predicted it would damage Democrats in 2024.

The indictment is an extraordinary development after years of investigations into his business, political and personal dealings. It is likely to galvanize critics who say Trump lied and cheated his way to the top and embolden supporters who feel the Republican is being unfairly targeted by a Democratic prosecutor.

In a statement, his lawyers, Susan Necheles and Joseph Tacopina, said: “He did not commit any crime. We will vigorously fight this political prosecution in court.”

The district attorney’s investigation centered on money paid to porn actor Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, whom he feared would go public with claims that they had extramarital sexual encounters with him.

Trump is expected to surrender to authorities next week, though the details were still being worked out, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss a matter that remained under seal.

Now, several Oklahoma lawmakers and political leaders are reacting to the news.

Congressman Josh Brecheen issued the following statement following the indictment of President Donald Trump:

Politically motivated witch hunts against President Trump or any other former President or presidential candidate is a serious abuse of power. House Republicans are committed to investigating if any federal funds are being used by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and his office to target President Trump for the purpose of interfering in our elections. I urge Democrats to join Republicans in condemning this baseless act of political persecution and commit to upholding the integrity of our elections and Republic

Josh Brecheen, OK-02

The Oklahoma Republican Party also responded Thursday:

Not since Democrat Presidential candidate John Edwards was charged, and the jury deadlocked, has such a charge been brought against an elected official. Independent of whom the official is, the law and precedent is in favor of President Trump, and we believe that this George Soros-backed District Attorney should drop this politically motivated case.

Oklahoma GOP

Our FlashPoint political analysts also weighed in Thursday night.

“I believe that it’s the beginning of the end for for Donald Trump,” Mike Turpen, former Attorney General. “It’ll be a series of indictments that lead to an effect, death by a thousand cuts. The Trump years are over.

Todd Lamb, former Lt. Governor told KFOR “it’s a sad day for our country.”

“It’s a sad day for my party,” said Lamb. “We want to be very careful though, that this is not political prosecution. I went on the record saying I’m not a Donald Trump fan. I’m looking forward to Ron DeSantis. I think that’s where our party needs to go, looking forward and not in reverse. But it’s a sad day for our country, a sad day for the party of which I’m a member.”