With rumors spreading that former President Donald Trump could soon be indicted over his handling of classified documents, neither Republicans nor Democrats appeared surprised by those reports on June 7, though for very different reasons.
Earlier that day, Just the News reported that federal prosecutors had notified Trump he was a “criminal target” and was likely to be indicted as early as this week. The report, which The Epoch Times has not confirmed, cited anonymous sources who claim to be familiar with the case.
As news of the report spread on Capitol Hill, lawmakers weighed in on the possibility that the 45th president could face federal charges.
“Nothing would surprise me from this Justice Department, nothing,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) told The Epoch Times. “I mean, they have proven to be extremely partisan and political … tragic.”
Echoing that sentiment, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he didn’t think it was a surprise that the Justice Department was targeting Trump.
“It comes down to this fundamental growing distrust in institutions in our country because of how they’ve weaponized the criminal justice system,” he said. “And now, it’s just in a long line of attempts to go after him, so I think they’re going to find a lot of resistance and a lot of skepticism.”
The former president is currently the subject of four criminal probes, including two federal investigations led by special counsel Jack Smith.
Smith was appointed in November by Attorney General Merrick Garland to lead not only the documents probe but also the Justice Department’s investigation of whether Trump or others interfered in the peaceful transfer of power after the 2020 election.
Trump is also the target of a similar election probe in Georgia and is being prosecuted by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on charges alleging the falsification of business records.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), though equally unsurprised by the rumors that Trump might face another indictment, had a different reason from his colleagues as to why.
“He needs to be held accountable,” Durbin said, assuming guilt. “No one is above the law.”
Still others, like Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), refused to speculate on the matter, opting to wait and see what the special counsel’s decision will be.
“Whatever the next appropriate steps are should be taken,” Hirono said. “And if that means an indictment, that’s what should happen.”
According to Just the News’ unnamed sources, Trump’s legal team was recently informed that the potential charges against him could include false statements, obstruction of justice, and a violation of 18 U.S. Code Chapter 37 Section 793, which prohibits the “gathering, transmitting, or losing” of national defense information.
Trump, for his part, has maintained his innocence to all criminal allegations that have been leveled against him.
Additionally, the outlet reported that the Justice Department declined a request from Trump’s legal team to delay charges in light of allegations that a top prosecutor on the case engaged in witness tampering.
Allegedly, the prosecutor in question attempted to influence a witness by discussing a judgeship with the witness’s attorney.
That allegation is reportedly pending before Chief U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg.
Trump Denies Claims
In an apparent response to Just the News report, Trump denied on Wednesday that he had been notified of an imminent indictment.
“No one has told me I’m being indicted, and I shouldn’t be because I’ve done nothing wrong,” he wrote in a Truth Social post.
As for being a “criminal target,” the former president noted that he had assumed as much for years, “starting with the Russia, Russia, Russia Hoax, the ‘No Collusion’ Mueller Report, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, the perfect Ukraine phone call, and various other scams & witch hunts.”
Decrying the numerous investigations as a “travesty of justice” and an example of election interference, he called upon congressional Republicans to make rectifying the situation their top priority.
And on the House Judiciary Committee, they appear to be heeding that call.
In recent months, Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has launched inquiries into whether political bias has infected the investigations led by Smith and Bragg.
In a June 1 letter (pdf) to the attorney general, Jordan expressed the concern that Smith’s team might include partisan FBI agents who were involved in prior investigations of Trump, like the Russia probe.
“It is clear that Congress must consider legislative reforms to the FBI, and the Committee has been engaged in robust oversight to inform those legislative proposals,” he wrote. “In the interim, however, due to the FBI’s documented political bias, the Justice Department must ensure any ongoing investigations are not poisoned by this same politicization.”
Speaking with reporters Wednesday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) suggested that any forthcoming indictment of Trump would likely be a result of Democrats weaponizing the justice system against him.
“I would not know why President Trump would be indicted,” McCarthy said. “I’d hope that Democrats would stop playing politics. I know they’re concerned about President Trump’s presidency, his ability to run again, how strong he stands in the polls, beating Biden. But for them to continue to use the system against President Trump is wrong.”
From The Epoch Times