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- DeSantis came to the defense of Trump, his top 2024 rival, after news of the federal indictment.
- The Florida governor and 2024 alleged it was politically motivated.
- He promised to overhaul the Department of Justice if elected.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis promised Thursday evening that if elected president he would overhaul the US Department of Justice in response to news that former President Donald Trump was indicted.
In a statement released to Twitter, DeSantis accused the Biden administration’s law enforcement agency of “weaponization,” saying it “represents a mortal threat to a free society.” With the indictment, Trump became the first former president in US history to face federal criminal charges.
“We have for years witnessed an uneven application of the law depending upon political affiliation,” DeSantis wrote. “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, who is Trump’s top rival for the 2024 presidential nomination, has otherwise become more vocal about criticizing Trump ever since making his White House run official on May 24.
While in recent months DeSantis has loosely referred to the “drama” that surrounds Trump, he has focused his attacks on bashing the ex-president’s record on immigration, on his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, and on his losing electoral record.
Unlike 2024 candidate Asa Hutchinson, former governor of Arkansas, he did not call for Trump to pull out of the race over the indictment.
He instead in his statement echoed comments made by many Trump supporters that openly pondered about former 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for official communication, as well as a Fox News story that broke Thursday alleging that President Joe Biden was paid $5 million by an executive of the Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings, where his son Hunter Biden sat on the board.
DeSantis didn’t say whether he would pardon Trump if elected, as 2024 challenger and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy did.
Federal prosecutors are charging Trump with seven criminal counts, according to numerous reports. Among them are obstruction of justice and false statements. Such charges could carry decades of prison time.
The public first became aware of the documents investigation in August 2022, when the FBI executed a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Palm Beach, Florida. They seized several boxes of documents Trump took from the White House, some of which were marked “top secret.”
Trump will be reporting to a federal court in Miami on Tuesday afternoon, he said on Truth Social, his social media platform. He told Fox News Digital that he would enter a plea of “not guilty.”