Republicans, including former Vice President Mike Pence, rallied around former President Donald Trump on Sunday, blasting his potential prosecution by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as a politically motivated attack against a 2024 Democratic rival.
“It just feels like a politically charged prosecution here. And I, for my part, I just feel like it’s just not what the American people want to see,” Pence told ABC News’ “This Week” in an interview that aired Sunday.
“The fact that the Manhattan DA thinks that indicting President Trump is his top priority, I think … just tells you everything you need to know about the radical left in this country,” Pence, who has had a falling out with Trump, 76, after the Jan. 6, 2021, US Capitol riot, told host Jonathan Karl.
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.) said the possible arrest of Trump over an alleged $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election is ”one of the worst uses of the justice system we have ever seen.”
”This kind of two-tier prosecution, this gotcha mentality with the criminal justice system is flat-out wrong,” he told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
”And, Maria, let me also say this. There have been in the past uses of the criminal justice system in America that have been wrong. It’s been about targeting. It’s been wrong. Two wrongs don’t make a right,” Donalds said, without elaborating.
“Just going after your political adversary in President Trump isn’t going to make you some pillar of virtue. It’s going to descend all of America into further chaos, not what we need — not what we need at all,” he said.
As reports in the media circulated last week that Trump was expected to be indicted in Manhattan over the alleged hush money payment, the former president tore the lid off the speculation and posted on his Truth Social platform that he would be arrested on Tuesday and urged his legion of loyalists to “protest.”
Trump pointed to “ILLEGAL LEAKS FROM A CORRUPT & HIGHLY POLITICAL MANHATTAN DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S OFFICE” as evidence that he would be charged.
“THE FAR & AWAY LEADING REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE & FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, WILL BE ARRESTED ON TUESDAY OF NEXT WEEK. PROTEST, TAKE OUR NATION BACK!” Trump said in an all-caps message — one of many — Saturday morning.
After being quiet most of Sunday morning about his arrest, Trump issued a missive tying President Biden into Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s investigation, claiming the prosecutor was “taking his orders from D.C.”
“I beat them TWICE, doing much better the second time, and despite their DISINFORMATION campaign, they don’t want to run against ‘TRUMP’ or my GREAT RECORD!,” he said on Truth Social.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has called for an “immediate” investigation into what he said was the “politically motivated prosecution.”
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) on Sunday was asked about McCarthy’s comment and whether Congress should use “federal funds from US taxpayers on a political errand.”
“I think the viable question for the American people is whether or not you have a progressive prosecutor using the justice system to go after political enemies for political splash. And that seems to be the case here with the Manhattan DA,” McHenry said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican who’s mulling a 2024 presidential bid that would make him a political rival of Trump’s, said he thinks the Democrats miscalculated by going after the former president.
“I can tell you, I think it’s building a lot of sympathy for the former president,” Sununu said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“And, as you pointed out, this is likely some sort of misdemeanor on an issue seven years ago. This has nothing to do with Jan. 6. There’s folks out there that still think this has something to do with Jan. 6,” he said.
“I just think that the – not just the media – but really a lot of the Democrats have misplayed this, in terms of building sympathy for the former president. And it does drastically change the paradigm as we go into the ’24 election,” he said.
Rep. James Comer, the chair of the House Oversight Committee that is leading the Republicans’ investigation into Hunter Biden’s overseas dealings, said the possible indictment of Trump was “another example of a two tier system of justice.”
”I’s very odd that this would come out just the very next day after I revealed bank records, which showed that the Biden family, the president in particular, hasn’t been truthful with respect to his family receiving payments directly from the Chinese Communist Party. So it almost looks like it’s an effort to detract, but at the very least, it’s another example of a two tier system of justice,” Comer, of Kentucky, said on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“We’ve been looking into these classified documents. We saw the FBI raided Mar-a-Lago for one set of supposedly bleak mishandled classified documents but yet Joe Biden’s had at least five different locations have mishandled classified documents, and they get him days and days to go in and clean up with his attorney,” Comer said.
“So this looks to me like it’s another example of a two tier system of justice at the DOJ.”
Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona said he thinks Bragg wouldn’t have proceeded if he didn’t have a strong case against Trump.
“I think it’s very important for the Manhattan DA to look into this thoroughly. … I would hope that if they brought charges, that they have a strong case, because this is — as you said, it’s unprecedented. And there are certainly risks involved here. But, again, nobody in our nation is or should be above the law,” Kelly said on CNN.