Following the unprecedented indictment Thursday of former President Donald Trump by the Justice Department for allegedly mishandling classified documents, other Republican primary candidates rushed to make their statement in reaction.
Each candidate campaigned off of the indictment in some way – but some issued much stronger responses than others. We’ve compiled a list of each candidates’ response below.
South Carolina Senator Tim Scott said on the Fox News channel that he would purge the ‘impurities’ in the American judicial system in the wake of the indictment.
“As President of the United States, I would purge all of the injustices, and impurities in our system so that every American can have confidence in that they every American can have confidence that they will be seen by the Lady Justice with a blindfold on, that is what we need in this nation.”
Another rising conservative star was much more direct in his support for Trump. Vivek Ramaswamy released a video on Twitter saying, “We have a two-standards of justice, one for BLM rioters and Antifa, and another one for peaceful January 6th protesters. One for Chelsea Manning, another for Julian Assange. Guess what? Now you have one for Joe Biden, who violates the same laws about document retention, and classified documents, and one for President Trump.”
Ramaswamy’s campaign has even submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to uncover communications between AG Merrick Garland and Special Prosecutor Jack Smith.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, speaking on Hugh Hewitt’s show, responded by saying, “AG Garland should be before the American people explaining the facts in the indictment of former President Trump, and providing the indictment.”
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, sitting at or under 1% support in recent polls, called for President Trump to drop out of the race, posting a lengthy letter to his Twitter account.
Nikki Haley, another “1 percenter,” said Trump was “incredibly reckless” in his handling of the documents.
Former President Trump’s most formidable challenge so far, Florida Governor Ron Desantis, tweeted, “The weaponization of Federal Law Enforcement represents a mortal threat to free society. We have for years witnessed an uneven application of the law depending upon political affiliation. Why so zealous in pursuing Trump, yet so passive about Hillary or Hunter? The DeSantis administration will bring accountability to the DOJ, excise political bias, and end weaponization once and for all.”
DeSantis was grilled by Americans for campaigning off of the indictment. In an audience poll of Rogue Review readers, 59% believed his message in defense of Trump should be much stronger, despite the ongoing primary campaign.
Chris Christie and Hillary Clinton also chimed in.
“We don’t get our news from Trump’s Truth social account,” Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie tweeted. “Let’s see what the facts are when any possible indictment is released. As I’ve said before, no one is above the law, no matter how much they wish they were. We will have more to say when the facts are revealed.”
Two-time failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton mocked Trump on Twitter by tweeting an image of a hat that says “But Her Emails,” and a link to where people could buy the hat, referencing her own scandal.
Former President Trump currently holds a substantial lead over all of his 2024 Presidential opponents in the Republican field, and the indictment has only accelerated the former president’s momentum.
Trump now holds a 38-point lead over DeSantis after the DOJ’s indictment: