Trump’s 2024 Republican presidential rivals jump to his defense after the impeachment

WASHINGTON — donald trump‘s rivals for the Republican presidential nomination jumped to his defense Thursday after he was indicted by a grand jury in Manhattan, a sign of the former president’s continued power within the party.

Many of his stated or potential rivals were quick to claim that potential prosecution was all about politics and not the possibility that Trump could have committed a crime.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called it “un-American” and an “arming of the legal system to advance a political agenda.”

“The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade crimes and condone criminal misconduct. But now he’s expanding the law to target a political opponent,” DeSantis said in a statement on twitter.

He vowed that Florida “will not assist with an extradition request,” which he described as “questionable circumstances.”

DeSantis is not yet a candidate for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, but he is widely viewed as the most likely alternative to Trump and has therefore been the target of relentless attacks from Trump for months.

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who became the first major candidate to launch a challenge against Trump in 2024, released a video of herself criticizing New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg before the indictment was released.

“This is more about revenge than justice,” said Haley, who was US Ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration. tweeted Thursday.

Former Vice President Mike Pence called on CNN that the charges are just “another example of the criminalization of politics in this country.”

“I think the unprecedented indictment of a former President of the United States over a campaign finance issue is an outrage,” Pence said Thursday night. “And it seems to be nothing more than political persecution for millions of Americans.”

He said it was “a great disservice to the country”.

Pence, whom Trump aggressively criticized for refusing to overturn his election defeat and letting him “hang Mike Pence.” Chants by Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021 are considering a run in 2024. He said the prosecution “didn’t affect” his decision.

Senator Tim Scott, RS.C., who is taking steps toward a presidential campaign, has criticized Bragg as “a pro-criminal prosecutor of New York” who “weaponized the law against political enemies.”

“This is a farce and shouldn’t be happening in the greatest country on earth. The presumption of innocence is central to our legal system but is being selectively dismissed today by the far left,” he said in a statement. “As I travel across the country, I hear from families who are starving for the truth. They hunger for hope. They want the rules to apply to everyone.”

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, who has been encouraged by some to run for president, said the charges were “fabricated” and motivated by “pure political gain.”

Rushing to defend Trump could, at least in the short term, bolster his political power within the GOP as he leads most polls for the nomination.

A Republican strategist who supports Trump bluntly said, “This is political gold for Trump. The message is simple: if Trump is not the candidate, then the election meddling worked and the corrupt prosecutors are winning.”

Conservative commentators on Fox News also speculated that Trump would benefit from his political base.

Former prosecutor Francey Hakes quoted Obi-Wan Kenobi from “Star Wars” as saying, “If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can imagine.” She said when it comes to Trump and his movement, one would Charges mean they are “getting more powerful than they can imagine”.

But leading Democrats and conservative Trump critics countered that no one is above the law and that people should not jump to conclusions.

Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., a member of the Jan. 6 committee, said on CNN Thursday that his former GOP colleagues should “take a deep breath” and wait until they read the charges and evidence before doing so they assume Trump didn’t commit a crime.

He said the “premeditated” decision to prosecute Bragg “without having any idea what’s in it,” the indictment represented “cowardice” or political goals on the part of Republicans defending Trump.

Asa Hutchinson, a former Arkansas governor who is considering a presidential bid, took a more measured approach and urged people not to jump to conclusions.

“We have to wait for the facts and for our American justice system to work the way it works for thousands of Americans every day,” he said called, adding that Trump “shouldn’t be the next president”. But, he added, “that should be for voters to decide.”

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