7:02 PM ET on June 9, 2023
Republican Presidential Candidates React to Trump’s Indictment
From CNN Staff
AP, Getty Images/Files
Donald Trump’s rivals for the Republican presidential nomination are reacting to the former president’s indictments.
Some of them say:
Ron DeSantis: After the indictment was released on Friday, people close to DeSantis’ political activism told CNN they did not expect DeSantis to deviate from the previous day’s statement.
Governor of Florida tweeted Thursday, “Weaponizing federal law enforcement poses a deadly threat to free societies. .”
“Why are you so passionate about prosecuting Trump, but so reluctant about Hillary and Hunter? would,” he added.
A Republican fundraiser close to the campaign said Friday that there was no pressure within the governor’s inner circle to change attitudes toward Trump’s alleged conduct. Fundraising groups say they are happy with the attitude Trump has taken since his first indictment in March.
Nikki Haley: The former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador on Friday released a statement characterizing the indictment as “prosecutorial overreach,” adding that it was time to “get over the endless drama and distractions.”
“This is not the way justice should be pursued in our country,” Haley said.
“The series of indictments is another reminder that the Republican Party needs a new direction,” said Colin Reed, senior adviser to Tell It Like It Is PAC, on Friday.
Former Governor of New Jersey tweeted Thursday is “no one above the law”.
“With the possibility of prosecution, let’s see what happens with the facts. I’ve said it before, no one is above the law no matter how much they want to be above it. There will be more to say when it becomes clear,” he said. he wrote
Asa Hutchinson: The former Arkansas governor said he read the indictment against Trump after it was unsealed on Friday, saying the charges against the former president were “serious” and that Republicans shouldn’t dismiss the charges lightly. claimed.
Hutchinson called on Trump on Thursday night to withdraw from the 2024 election after he announced that he had been indicted.
He further emphasized in an interview with CNN on Friday, arguing that Trump should stop campaigning “in the interest of the country and the presidency.”
Mike Pence: Before the indictment was opened on Friday, the former vice president told Attorney General Merrick Garland that the American people were asking, “Is this just a recent case of weaponization and politicization in the Justice Department, or something else?” He requested that the document be made public so that he can judge for himself.
Pence also said he believed Trump’s call to suspend the campaign was “premature” and said “everyone is innocent until proven guilty” and Trump has the right to defend himself. said.
When Mr Pence met with New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu late Friday, he declined to answer questions about his reaction to the unsealing of the indictment.
Vivek Ramaswamy: entrepreneur “This is an insult to all of our people. We cannot allow us to degenerate into a banana republic where political parties in power use police force to arrest political opponents,” the government said in a statement on Thursday. said.
Ramaswamy also reiterated his promise to pardon Trump if elected.
CNN’s Kit Maher, Omar Jimenez and Brian Rocks contributed to this report.