Senate Republicans are split on the impact of former President Trump’s criminal indictment, which includes 37 federal criminal charges, including obstruction and unlawful retention of classified documents, NPR reports.
Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley called the criminal indictment “politically motivated, clearly.” He said he believed Trump will be the GOP nominee in 2024 and added, “there’s always a lot of a lot around President Trump” and said “I just don’t think this will change his profile.”
Many Republicans on Capitol Hill argued the charges around classified documents shows unequal treatment by the Justice Department of Trump and President Biden. A special counsel is also reviewing Biden’s retention of classified documents at his residence, at his former office before he was elected in 2020. Biden cooperated and returned documents that were found.
“These charges reflect an egregious double standard,” Sen Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told reporters. He said the Biden Justice Department “despises Donald Trump” and added, “No president in the history of our country has been prosecuted by his successor. This is something banana republics do.”
The top Senate Republican, Sen. Mitch McConnell, waved off questions about Trump, saying, “I’m just simply not going to comment on the candidates. We’ve got a bunch of them. And I’m just simply going to stay out of it.”
Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., told reporters that having the frontrunner of the GOP indicted “is not good for our party, clearly not good for our party, but we’ll allow the legal process to work its way through. In the meantime we’ve got other candidates who can look forward into what we want in our country.”
Rounds has endorsed South Carolina GOP Sen. Tim Scott’s presidential campaign and compared his optimistic message to that of former President Ronald Reagan’s. He said many GOP voters still back many of Trump’s policies and “we think there are other people who can do the same thing but not with all of the other issues that come with the former president,” he said according to NPR.
In his first social media post since entering a “not guilty” plea, Donald Trump issued a “thank you” to the city of Miami.
“Such a warm welcome on such a SAD DAY for our Country!” he wrote on Truth Social, the platform he owns.
It’s not much of a departure in tone from his pre-hearing missive earlier today:
“ON MY WAY TO COURTHOUSE. WITCH HUNT!!! MAGA”