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Republicans defend Donald Trump following his indictment

‘This is going to destroy America,’ Sen. Lindsey Graham said on Fox News Thursday night.

By Emily Singer - March 31, 2023
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Former President Donald Trump arrives to board his airplane for a trip to a campaign rally in Waco, Texas, at West Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla, Saturday, March 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Republicans on Capitol Hill have come out in force to defend former President Donald Trump against the criminal indictment a Manhattan grand jury handed down on Thursday.

They defended Trump without seeing the charges or underlying evidence behind them, accusing Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, whose office sought the indictment, of political persecution and misconduct.

The charges contained in the indictment are still under seal and likely will be until Tuesday, when Trump is expected to turn himself in for arraignment.

The New York Times reported that Trump is facing more than two dozen counts in the indictment.

They reportedly stem from hush money payments to porn actor Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal during the 2016 campaign. Both women had said they had affairs with Trump and were seeking to sell their stories to media outlets ahead of the 2016 election.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy vowed to punish Bragg for charging Trump, tweeting: “Alvin Bragg has irreparably damaged our country in an attempt to interfere in our Presidential election. As he routinely frees violent criminals to terrorize the public, he weaponized our sacred system of justice against President Donald Trump. The American people will not tolerate this injustice, and the House of Representatives will hold Alvin Bragg and his unprecedented abuse of power to account.”

More than half of the Senate Republican caucus shared statements defending Trump and denouncing the indictment. Dozens of House lawmakers also issued full-throated defenses of Trump.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham went on Fox News on Thursday night to beg supporters to donate their money to help the billionaire former president pay for his legal defense.

“They’re trying to drain him dry. He’s spent more money on lawyers than most people spend on campaigns. They’re trying to bleed him dry. DonaldJTrump.com. Go tonight, give the president some money to fight this bullshit! This is going to destroy America,” Graham said.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio baselessly suggested that Bragg is a communist, tweeting on Friday: “The deranged obsession & irrational fixation of Trump haters has resulted in a marxist, soft on crime DA setting a dangerous new precedent in America. As other nations have learned the hard way the road of political prosecutions is a two way street with no exit ramps.”

Scores of House Republicans also attacked Bragg.

Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said the indictment was all a ploy by Democrats to trick conservatives into reacting and starting a civil war: “They know Trump did not break the law. They know more than anyone because they’ve been trying for years to find a way to put him in jail and they can’t. But now they have a complete fool that is deranged enough to try because he is backed by Soros. And Soros wants war to destabilize America and gain full control.”

Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson vowed retribution, warning, “When Trump wins, THESE PEOPLE WILL PAY!!”

Some of Trump’s potential primary opponents in the 2024 presidential race rallied to his side.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called the indictment un-American and effectively vowed not to comply with Article IV Section 2 of the Constitution: “The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is stretching the law to target a political opponent. Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue with this Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “I think the unprecedented indictment of a former president of the United States on a campaign finance issue is an outrage, and it appears to millions of Americans to be nothing more than a political prosecution that’s driven by a prosecutor who literally ran for office on a pledge to indict the former president.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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