Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Donald Trump’s leading rival for the 2024 GOP nomination, said the decision to charge the former president demonstrated political bias in the Biden Justice Department and it’s “weaponization” of its police powers.
Trump was indicted Thursday on federal charges involving conspiracy, obstruction, and taking classified documents.
“The weaponization of federal law enforcement represents a mortal threat to a free society,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stated Thursday.
“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?”
DeSantis said his administration “will bring accountability to the DOJ, excise political bias and end weaponization once and for all.”
Other GOP candidates made supportive statements, but not all.
Sen. Tim Scott who announced his candidacy last month, said in an interview Thursday evening with Fox News’ Harris Faulkner that Trump’s indictment indicates the “scales” of the justice system “are weighted.”
“One thing that makes America a city on the hill is confidence in our justice system. And today, what we see is a justice system where the scales are awaited. That seems to be the outcome of where we are today,” Scott said.
“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 that they will be seen by the lady of justice with a blindfold on. That is what we need in this nation,” he said.
But former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who threw his hat into the ring earlier this week, stated on Twitter that “we don’t get our news from Trump’s Truth Social account.” Trump first announced that he was indicted via his social media platform, prior to reporting that his legal team received a summons from DOJ. The indictment itself remains under seal.
“Let’s see what the facts are when any possible indictment is released. As I have 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,” Christie said.
Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson called for Trump to end his campaign saying, “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. 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, he said.
Entrepreneur turned GOP candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said if he were to win the White House he would “promptly” pardon Trump.
“It would be much easier for me to win this election if Trump weren’t in the race, but I stand for principles over politics,” Ramaswamy wrote on Twitter Thursday night. “I commit to pardon Trump promptly on January 20, 2025 and to restore the rule of law in our country.”
This is the second time Trump has been indicted this year. Trump pleaded not guilty in April after being charged by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in the first degree.
Trump has been ordered to appear in federal court in Miami on Tuesday.
Fox News Digital’s Brooke Singman contributed to this report.