Trump’s latest indictment splits his rivals for the 2024 GOP nomination


Washington — Former President Donald Trump’s rivals for the 2024 Republican nomination are divided on the new charges against him for his alleged efforts to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election. 

The indictment brought by special counsel Jack Smith alleges Trump and his co-conspirators spread knowingly false claims of widespread fraud in the election and used those claims as the basis for schemes to keep Trump in power, culminating in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Trump has denied any wrongdoing and is due to be arraigned in court on Thursday.

Several of Trump’s GOP rivals were quick to characterize the indictment as an example of the “weaponization” of the Justice Department, while others said it shows Trump is unfit to be president again. Trump is the clear front-runner in the GOP primary field and remains enormously popular with Republican voters, complicating his rivals’ approach to the indictment.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is Trump’s closest opponent in the polls, said Tuesday he had not yet read the indictment but suggested that any jury in Washington, D.C., would be biased against Trump. 

“As President, I will end the weaponization of government, replace the FBI Director, and ensure a single standard of justice for all Americans,” he said in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy accused the Justice Department of trying to “eliminate” Trump. Ramaswamy, who was the first GOP candidate to say he would pardon Trump after he was indicted for his alleged mishandling of classified documents, vowed to pardon Trump if he is convicted on charges in the latest indictment as well. In an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, he said the latest indictment “sets an awful precedent in our country.” 

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott said he’s concerned the Justice Department is using its power to go after President Biden’s political opponents. 

Former Vice President Mike Pence, who testified before the grand jury that issued the indictment and is a central figure in the special counsel’s case, said the charges show that “anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be President of the United States.” 

“On January 6th, Former President Trump demanded that I choose between him and the Constitution. I chose the Constitution and I always will,” Pence said in a statement Tuesday. “The former president is entitled to the presumption of innocence but with this indictment, his candidacy means more talk about January 6th and more distractions.” 

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a fierce Trump critic, called the allegations detailed in the 45-page indictment “a stain on our country’s history” and said “the disgrace falls the most on Donald Trump.” 

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the 2024 Republican frontrunner is “morally responsible for the attack on our democracy” and called on him to end his presidential campaign.

Will Hurd, a former representative from Texas, said that Trump’s candidacy “is driven by an attempt to stay out of prison and scam his supporters into footing his legal bills,” and that “his denial of the 2020 election results and actions on Jan. 6 show he’s unfit for office.”

Source link


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here