The news that Donald Trump is going to be indicted has prompted some strong reactions.
“The Democrats have lied, cheated and stolen in their obsession with trying to ‘Get Trump,’ but now they’ve done the unthinkable - indicting a completely innocent person in an act of blatant Election Interference,” the former president said in a statement (which was relatively muted by his standards).
He also accused the Manhattan district attorney of being “hand-picked and funded by George Soros”—an appeal, whether intentional or not, to antisemitic conspiracy theories—and doing “Joe Biden’s dirty work” instead of handling murders and other violent crimes. And he promised his base that “this Witch-Hunt will backfire massively on Joe Biden.”
You can see the full statement here.
In a separate social media post, however, Trump showed less restraint, venting in full caps: “THIS IS AN ATTACK ON OUR COUNTRY THE LIKES OF WHICH HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN BEFORE. … THE USA IS NOW A THIRD WORLD NATION, A NATION IN SERIOUS DECLINE. SO SAD!”
Other Republicans joined Trump in expressing their indignation.
“The sham New York indictment of President Donald Trump is one of the clearest examples of extremist Democrats weaponizing government to attack their political opponents,” Rep. Steve Scalise, the House majority leader, wrote on Twitter. “Outrageous.”
“Outrageous” appeared to be the word of the night for Republicans, and the single-word response from Rep. Jim Jordan.
Ted Cruz also leaned into the “unprecedented” nature of the occasion. “The Democrat Party’s hatred for Donald Trump knows no bounds,” he wrote. “The ‘substance’ of this political persecution is utter garbage. This is completely unprecedented and is a catastrophic escalation in the weaponization of the justice system.”
Donald Trump Jr. began his podcast around 15 minutes after the news broke. The president’s son launched into his show by railing against the “Soros-backed” district attorney. “Let’s be clear folks: This is Communist-level shit. This is stuff that would make Mao, Stalin, Pol Pot, it would make them blush.”
Eric Trump echoed his father’s Cold War–era language. “This is third world prosecutorial misconduct,” he said on Twitter. “It is the opportunistic targeting of a political opponent in a campaign year.”
Some Republicans capitalized on the moment. The Trump campaign used the opportunity to send out fundraising messages, as did Sen. J.D. Vance.
The most remarkable response so far may have come from Trump’s presumed presidential rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. In a tweet, DeSantis stoked the Soros theories and decried the indictment as “un-American.” More importantly, he ruled out the possibility of supporting an extradition request, should Trump refuse to surrender. (Trump’s lawyer has repeatedly said that he will surrender).
The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head.
It is un-American.
The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is stretching the law to target a political opponent.
Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue with this Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda.