US Jewish groups blast Trump campaign for comparing indictment to Nazi persecution

After former US president says latest criminal charges ‘reminiscent of Nazi Germany,’ ADL calls comparison ‘completely inappropriate and flat out offensive’

Luke Tress is a JTA reporter and a former editor and reporter in New York for The Times of Israel.

Republican presidential candidate and former US president Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, July 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
Republican presidential candidate and former US president Donald Trump arrives for a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, July 29, 2023. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

US Jewish groups lashed former US president Donald Trump’s reelection campaign for comparing his latest indictment to persecution in Nazi Germany on Tuesday.

“The lawlessness of these persecutions of President Trump and his supporters is reminiscent of Nazi Germany in the 1930s, the former Soviet Union, and other authoritarian, dictatorial regimes,” the Trump campaign said in a statement sent out by email, after Trump was indicted for his attempts to overturn the 2020 election.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, decried the comparison, calling it “factually incorrect, completely inappropriate and flat out offensive.”

“As we have said time and again, such comparisons have no place in politics and are shameful,” Greenblatt said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

The American Jewish Committee said, “This rhetoric is deeply offensive and disrespectful.”

“Please sit with a Holocaust survivor and let them share their story. Just listen. Then show them the respect they deserve and honor the memory of the six million Jews slaughtered by the Nazis by never making a comparison like this again,” the American Jewish Committee said in a statement.

The Jewish Democratic Council of America said, “The Nazis orchestrated a systematic murder & persecution of millions of Jews and other minorities. Donald Trump is facing justice for attacking our democracy.”

“Equating his indictment to the genocidal actions of the Nazis is deeply offensive and wrong,” the group said in a statement.

Trump was indicted on Tuesday on four felony counts that accuse him of working to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in the run-up to the violent riot by his supporters at the US Capitol.

The indictment marks the third set of criminal charges brought against Trump as he seeks to retake the White House in 2024, in addition to multiple civil cases.

The latest charges include conspiring to defraud the US government, and accuse Trump of repeatedly lying about election results and turning aside repeated overtures from some aides to tell the truth, while conspiring with others to try to illegally change vote totals in his favor.

The indictment against former US president Donald Trump charging him by the Justice Department for his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election is photographed in Washington, August 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

Federal prosecutors said that on the day of the January 6, 2021 riot at the US Capitol, Trump attempted to “exploit” the chaos by pushing to delay the certification of the election results.

The indictment followed a long-running federal investigation into schemes by Trump and his allies to subvert the peaceful transfer of power and keep him in office despite his decisive loss to Joe Biden.

A conviction in this case, or any other, would not prevent Trump from pursuing the White House or serving as president. Polls have shown Trump dominating his Republican challengers for the party’s candidacy.

Trump has been trying to use the mounting legal troubles to his political advantage, claiming without evidence on social media and at public events that the cases are being driven by Democratic prosecutors out to hurt his election campaign.

Trump has been accused of antisemitism in the past, including for attacks against Jewish philanthropist George Soros, a common target for antisemitic conspiracy theorists.

After he was indicted on separate charges last year, Trump accused Soros of influencing the charges against him in a fundraising email to supporters, unleashing a torrent of hate against the philanthropist.

AP contributed to this report.

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