Former President Donald Trump’s allies are painting his Thursday arraignment as an attempt by President Biden to crush his political rival ahead of the 2024 election and distract from bribery allegations against his own family.
Trump pleaded “not guilty” to four federal counts stemming from alleged efforts to overturn his 2020 loss to Biden. It’s his second federal indictment and third criminal indictment in the span of less than five months.
His Republican allies in Congress have continued to stick by him, however. GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, the No. 3 leader in the House, echoed Trump’s repeated insistence that investigations into his conduct are “witch hunts.”
“The unconstitutional and unprecedented arrest of President Donald J. Trump is truly a chilling chapter in Joe Biden’s weaponization of the Department of Justice against his leading political opponent who is beating Biden in many independent polls. President Trump had every right under the First Amendment to correctly raise concerns about election integrity in 2020,” Stefanik said.
“The American people are smart, and they know this is a politically charged witch hunt orchestrated by Joe Biden’s corrupt DOJ in a desperate attempt to distract the American people from the mounting evidence of Joe Biden’s direct involvement in his family’s illegal influence peddling scheme,” she added,
Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill., cited a 2014 statement from Biden expressing concern about Malaysia’s encroachment on its own rule of law.
“Today, Joe Biden’s DOJ did what Joe Biden used to condemn other countries for doing: arrest his political opposition to silence and intimidate them,” Miller said.
Another House Republican, Rep. Diane Harshbarger, R-Tenn., went a step further than condemnation and called for both a Congressional investigation and Biden’s immediate impeachment.
“Today’s politically-motivated arraignment of President Trump marks a dark day for our nation. Joe Biden’s persecution of President Trump is a blatant power grab and an attempt to silence the voices of millions of Americans,” Harshbarger said. “I call on Congress to launch a full investigation into the politicization of our government agencies, and for an immediate impeachment inquiry against Joe Biden, who is directly responsible for this despicable witch hunt.”
Both Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., and Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., also accused Biden of trying to tip the scales, despite the White House’s repeated insistence that the DOJ is independent.
“Trump is being targeted because the Left knows he’s Biden’s greatest political threat,” Blackburn said.
Greene said, “Biden’s DOJ is actively participating in election interference by trying to put his top political opponent, President Donald Trump, behind bars. It’s pure corruption.”
Trump himself made similar comments after his arraignment and just before boarding his plane. “This is a very sad day for America,” the former president said. “When you look at what’s happening, this is a persecution of a political opponent.”
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