Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador derided the prosecution of former President Donald Trump on Wednesday, saying that legal proceedings ought not to be used to influence elections.
His comments follow Trump’s Tuesday arraignment in which the former president pleaded not guilty to 34 counts brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in connection with a 2016 payment that his then-personal attorney, Michael Cohen, made to Stormy Daniels.
“Supposedly legal issues should not be used for electoral, political purposes. That’s why I don’t agree with what they are doing to ex-President Trump,” he said, according to The Hill. “It should be the people who decide.”
Trump and López generally enjoyed amicable relations during their shared tenures as heads of state, though Trump’s hawkish immigration policies often led to some tensions in diplomatic discussions.
A handful of foreign leaders have condemned the indictment. El Salvador President Nayib Bukele, for example, contended that bringing charges against the leader of the political opposition would undermine American arguments in favor of democracy when condemning comparable proceedings abroad.
“Sadly, it’ll be very hard for US Foreign Policy to use arguments such as ‘democracy’ and ‘free and fair elections’ or try to condemn ‘political persecution’ in other countries, from now on,” he tweeted.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, meanwhile, offered more direct support for Trump, saying “[k]eep on fighting, Mr. President! We are with you” and including a photo of the two shaking hands.