As former President Donald Trump lashed out at his stunning new indictment in Florida, many fellow Republicans fell in line behind him, with some marked exceptions.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy voiced support for the ex-president.
“I, and every American who believes in the rule of law, stand with President Trump against this grave injustice,” the California Republican tweeted.
“House Republicans will hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable,” he added.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who lost the GOP presidential nomination to Trump in 2016, also voiced solidarity.
“There is no limit to what these people will do to protect their power & destroy those who threaten it, even if it means ripping our country apart & shredding public faith in the institutions that hold our republic together,” he tweeted, though it was not clear whom he was referring to.
Trump announced he had been indicted by a Florida grand jury on Thursday on charges related to taking classified documents to his Mar-a-Lago resort when he left office. He was charged with illegal retention of government secrets, obstruction of justice and conspiracy, the Washington Post reported, citing unnamed sources.
Republican presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson called on Trump to end his reelection campaign.
“With the news that Donald Trump has been indicted for the second time, our country finds itself in a position that weakens our democracy. Donald Trump’s actions — from his willful disregard for the Constitution to his disrespect for the rule of law — should not define our nation or the Republican Party,” the former Arkansas governor said in a statement Thursday night.
“This is a sad day for our country,” he continued. “While Donald Trump is entitled to the presumption of innocence, the ongoing criminal proceedings will be a major distraction. This reaffirms the need for Donald Trump to respect the office and end his campaign.”
Long-shot GOP presidential contender Steve Laffey said Trump “continues make a mockery of the electoral process.”
“It’s time the RNC and (voters) take a closer look at the candidates and realize that Donald Trump cannot with the 2024 Presidential Election,” he tweeted.
But Vivek Ramaswamy, who is also seeking the Republican presidential nomination, called the indictment an affront.
“We cannot devolve into a banana republic where the party in power uses police force to arrest its political opponents,” he said in a statement. “It’s hypocritical for the DOJ to selectively prosecute Trump but not Biden.”
Dems were quick to condemn Trump.
“Trump’s apparent indictment on multiple charges arising from his retention of classified materials is another affirmation of the rule of law,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., wrote on Twitter.
“For four years, he acted like he was above the law. But he should be treated like any other lawbreaker. And today, he has been.”
Diehard Trump supporters closed ranks.
“Sad day for America. God Bless President Trump,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, tweeted.
“Democrats must literally shake with sweats when they see amazing packed out Trump rallies and overwhelming winning poll numbers week after week,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., tweeted. “We must win in 2024.”