Trump allies say Biden ‘weapons’ DOJ against chief 2024 rival after indictment

WASHINGTON — Top Republicans in Congress rallied behind Donald Trump Thursday night, calling the former president’s indictment nothing more than President Joe Biden’s “weaponizing” of his Justice Department against his most likely political adversary in 2024.

“It is inadmissible for a president to indict the main candidate who opposes him. Joe Biden kept classified documents for decades,” tweeted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-California, a Trump loyalist. “I and all Americans who believe in the rule of law stand with President Trump against this grave injustice.

“House Republicans will hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable,” McCarthy wrote.

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Thursday’s indictment stems from an investigation led by Special Counsel Jack Smith, who was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland. Garland has been scrupulous about not getting involved in the investigation, and he said Smith would make his own charging decisions. Biden also emphasized his distance from the investigation, and the White House said it learned of the indictment from the media Thursday night.

Still, many Republicans allied with Trump echoed the speaker. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., tweeted that it was a “sham indictment”: “Let’s be clear about what’s going on: Joe Biden is weaponizing his Justice Department against his own political rival.”

And House GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik, DN.Y., who leads the messaging operation, said in a statement that Trump’s indictment “is the epitome of unlawful and unarmed weaponization.” precedent of the federal government against Joe Biden’s main opponent, Donald J. Trump”. .”

Across Capitol Hill, the message was much the same from Trump’s top allies. Freshman Sen. JD Vance, R-Ohio, whom Trump endorsed when he was elected last year, has accused Biden of trying to “steal” the upcoming election.

“Biden attacks his most likely opponent in 2024”, Vance tweeted. “He’s using the justice system to preemptively steal the 2024 election. That’s what’s happening, plain and simple.

But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Whip John Thune, RS.D., and other members of the Senate Republican leadership team have remained remarkably quiet.

Shortly after Trump announced on Truth Social that he was indicted, NBC News confirmed that a federal grand jury in Florida had indicted him on seven counts related to his mishandling of classified documents.

Several GOP lawmakers said they received text messages Thursday night from Trump’s political messaging operation that included both Trump’s Truth Social message and his video message, in which he declared his innocence.

“This is election interference at the highest level. There has never been anything like this that happened. I am an innocent man. I am an innocent person,” Trump said in the video.

The Trump team is closely monitoring which executives have defended him on Twitter, sources said.

Democrats, meanwhile, said Trump’s indictment – the first federal criminal charges against a former president – should give Americans confidence in the justice system.

Rep. Dan Goldman, DN.Y., a former federal prosecutor who was lead counsel in Trump’s first House impeachment inquiry, praised Smith in a statement, calling him a “career prosecutor of the utmost integrity”.

The United States was founded on the principle that “no one, not even a former president, is above the law,” he said.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a ranking member of the oversight committee and the lead on Trump’s second impeachment trial, pushed back against the GOP.

“The dangerous rhetoric about a ‘two-tier justice system’ – discriminating against the wealthy on top of that – to prop up the twice-impeached former president not only undermines the Justice Department, but betrays the essential principle of justice that no one is above the law, not even a former president or a self-proclaimed billionaire,” he said in a statement.

Raskin vowed to continue the oversight, saying Democrats are “committed to understanding the extent of Trump’s unlawful possession of hundreds of government documents and his offenses against our government and our people.”

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