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From a distraction to a gravely serious matter: San Diegans react to Trump's day in court

“I believe that it’s partisan politics,” said Cynthia Kaui, president of the San Diego Young Republicans, regarding criminal charges faced by former president Donald Trump in a federal documents case. “I think that the Trump indictment is a distraction from the real issues that are harming everyday Americans."

Kaui said her organization is steering clear of endorsing any presidential candidate for the Republican nomination. Instead, she said the Young Republicans are more concerned about issues impacting San Diegans.

“Whether that’s the homelessness crisis, whether that’s the high cost of living in particular here in San Diego County and some other array of issues that are kitchen table issues," she said.


Carl Luna, professor emeritus of political science at San Diego Mesa College, had a different take on the indictment of Trump: “Tragic, unfortunate, avoidable, dangerous, all kinds of things come to mind."

He went on to say that the first-ever indictment of a former president is much more than a partisan, political distraction.

“There are people serving time in prison for having done a lot less with a lot fewer documents under similar circumstances. So it’s not just a distraction. There is some real meat there," Luna said.

That being said, Luna acknowledged there is a perception among some that the Justice Department is being unfair; prosecuting a candidate from one party and not the other.

“There is a political aspect to this that you cannot ignore, and you better have a good argument why you’re bringing politics into it by pushing forward with this prosecution at this time," he said.


But Kaui said she doesn't believe the issue will resonate with many Americans.

“I really emphasize that the average everyday American — this isn’t a huge big deal for them," she said.

But for those who are old enough, who can hearken back to the Senate Watergate hearings, they’ll remember it was a big deal for millions of Americans. Time will tell whether this and possible future criminal indictments of Trump capture the public’s focus on that level.