WASHINGTON — Top congressional Republicans rallied around former President Donald Trump on Thursday amid another indictment, accusing President Joe Biden of “weaponizing” the Justice Department against his likely 2024 political opponent.
Trump was indicted for the second time on Thursday in the Department of Justice’s investigation into his handling of classified documents, making Trump the first former president to face federal criminal charges.
“It is unconscionable for a President to indict the leading candidate opposing him. Joe Biden kept classified documents for decades,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) tweeted. “I, and every American who believes in the rule of law, stand with President Trump against this grave injustice.”
“House Republicans will hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable,” McCarthy added.
The White House said they learned of the indictment from media reports Thursday evening and Biden has repeatedly said he has distanced himself from the probe.
Despite that, many Republicans stood with Trump amid his latest legal battle. Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said it was a “sham indictment”.
“Let’s be clear about what’s happening: Joe Biden is weaponizing his Department of Justice against his own political rival,” he said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) did not make statements.
“It’s election interference at the highest level. There’s never been anything like what’s happened. I’m an innocent man. I’m an innocent person,” Trump said in a four-minute video posted to Truth Social.
The Trump team is closely monitoring which members of leadership had defended him on Twitter, sources said.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) hit back against the GOP’s claims on Thursday.
“Dangerous rhetoric about a ‘two-tiered system of justice’ — discriminating against the rich no less — in order to prop up the twice-impeached former president not only undermines the Department of Justice but betrays the essential principle of justice that no one is above the commands of law, not even a former President or a self-proclaimed billionaire,” he said.