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Ron DeSantis, Kevin McCarthy, Trump allies denounce indictment

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican presidential hopeful, speaks during a campaign event at the Derry-Salem Elks Lodge in Salem, N.H., June 1, 2023.DAVID DEGNER/NYT

Supporters of former President Donald Trump reacted with anger Thursday to the news of the federal indictment and criticized the Biden administration. The White House declined to comment and referred questions to the Department of Justice.

“The Biden Regime, which is realizing they can’t beat or cheat their way to another victory, has taken the unprecedented step to indict President Trump,” said Karoline Leavitt, a spokesperson for Make America Great Again Inc., a super PAC backing Trump’s bid for a return to the White House.

A White House official said it had no foreknowledge of the indictment and learned of it from news reports.


Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, said on Twitter, “The weaponization of federal law enforcement represents a mortal threat to a free society.”

DeSantis, a presidential candidate, continued, “The DeSantis administration will bring accountability to the DOJ, excise political bias and end weaponization once and for all.”

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy tweeted that “it is unconscionable for a President to indict the leading candidate opposing him.”

The Republican added, “I, and every American who believes in the rule of law, stand with President Trump against this grave injustice.”

McCarthy said the House GOP “will hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable.”

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, meanwhile, said the indictment was a “sham” and “the continuation of the endless political persecution of Donald Trump.”

“Let’s be clear about what’s happening: Joe Biden is weaponizing his Department of Justice against his own political rival,” Scalise tweeted.

In an interview Thursday night on Fox News, Sen. Tim Scott said he felt the justice system’s “scales are weighted” based on politics.

“In America, every single person is presumed innocent, not guilty,” Scott said, decrying “the weaponization of the Department of Justice against the former president.”

Scott said he had not spoken to Trump and would “continue to pray for our nation and continue to pray that justice prevails.”


Former vice president Mike Pence said earlier Thursday that if Trump were to be indicted, he would hope the Justice Department had strong evidence — a shift in tone from the night before, when he said he hoped Trump wouldn’t be charged even if evidence is clear he committed a crime.

However, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who called for Trump to drop out of the race after the New York charges were filed, had stronger words for the former president. He said the federal indictment marked “a sad day for our country” and “reaffirms the need for Donald Trump to respect the office and end his campaign.”