Republicans Call Political Foul on Trump Jan. 6 Probe as Democrats Praise Move

Republicans Call Political Foul on Trump Jan. 6 Probe as Democrats Praise Move
Former President Donald Trump speaks to campaign volunteers at the Elks Lodge, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on July 18, 2023. (Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo)

Republicans are calling a political foul after President Donald Trump reported that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is probing him as part of its Jan. 6 investigation, while Democrats lauded the move.

Mr. Trump said the Sunday letter from special counsel Jack Smith gave him four days to report to a grand jury.

In a message posted on his social media platform, Truth Social, on Tuesday, the former president suggested that the short deadline may mean he would be arrested and indicted.

The charges come after Mr. Smith indicted Mr. Trump on 37 charges of mishandling classified documents.

Special Counsel Jack Smith
Special Counsel Jack Smith speaks to the press at the Department of Justice in Washington on June 9, 2023. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Republicans called the move political, citing Mr. Trump’s recent rise in the polls, with several showing the former president having a several-point lead over President Joe Biden.

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters, “If you notice recently, President Trump went up in the polls, and was actually surpassing President Biden for reelection.

“So what do they do now? Weaponize government to go after their number one opponent. It’s time and time again.

“I think the American public is tired of this,” Mr. McCarthy said. “They want to have equal justice, and the idea that they utilize this to go after those who politically disagree with them is wrong.”

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) told The Epoch Times that he has “zero sympathies” for anyone who participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach. But he also suggested that possible legal avenues for the DOJ, such as an incitement to violence charge, has a “pretty high standard.

“I’m unaware of any evidence that would suggest that he meets it,” Mr. Crenshaw said. “So see where it goes.”

Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.) joined other Republicans in calling the move political.

” I don’t think there’s any mystery that every chance that anybody gets a chance to go after the former president, presidential nominee, presidential front runner, they’re gonna do it,” Mr. Hern said. “Never in our history have we seen so much done in the way the DOJ coming after President Trump. So … I don’t think there was any shock.

“All it’s doing is emboldening his numbers,” Mr. Hern added.

“It’s absolute [expletive],” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said.

“The only way that the Democrats have to beat President Trump is to arrest him, smear him, charge him with ridiculous charges—all in a cover-up of Joe Biden’s crimes. Hunter Biden’s crimes,” Ms. Greene said.

NTD Photo
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), with colleagues Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) (L), speaks at a press conference addressing the treatment of the Jan. 6 detainees at the D.C. jail in Washington on Dec. 7, 2021. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

“It’s unbelievable,” she added. “It’s hard to even recognize that this is our country. The American people are going to be furious. And what Jack Smith is doing is weaponizing government.”

Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) agreed.

“Once again, the Department of Justice is playing politics, and I find it interesting that they are moving so quickly on all these but they ignore Hunter Biden,” Mr. Donalds said. “I don’t find it funny, I find it to be highly hypocritical. And that’s one of the major issues we’re having with the Department of Justice.”

Following the announcement, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) proposed legislation to defund Mr. Smith’s probe.

Richard Grenell, former director of national intelligence in the Trump administration, said, “I think it’s pretty obvious to the American people that the Biden administration is weaponized. I’ve seen every single government agency that they can [use] to stop President Trump from running.”

Mr. Grenell expressed concerns that, through the targeting of Mr. Trump, the United States was losing its moral authority to condemn such conduct in other, less developed nations.

‘No One Is Above the Law’

Democrats, by contrast, lauded the escalation of legal action against Trump.

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), in a refrain now common for Democrats on matters related to Mr. Trump, told The Epoch Times, “No one is above the law.”

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said she’s “not surprised.”

Pressed further, Ms. Stabenow said she’s not surprised “because of what he did in the January 6 efforts to potentially overthrow the government.

Senators Meet For Their Weekly Policy Luncheons On Capitol Hill
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) speaks to reporters in Washington on Dec. 6, 2022. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) said, “I absolutely think we should be probing what … Trump has done. I mean, this is real. The Republicans want to cook up some, you know, unreal kinds of investigations. But this is real, and I think that’s important.”

Others were more ambiguous, saying that they would leave it to the legal process.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) demurred from commenting, saying, “Because I practice law, I’m a big believer in letting the process work its way through, so I usually don’t have comments on … steps along the way.”

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said: “I’m not a lawyer. I’m not a prosecutor. I’m not a judge,” adding that the court system will do what it needs to do.

Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report. 

From The Epoch Times

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