Republicans are pushing back against what they view as the weaponization of justice department assets to attack conservative-aligned individuals and organizations. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has established a new judiciary subcommittee to investigate allegations the Department of Justice has exercised profound political bias, particularly since 2016.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), a vocal opponent of President Biden and law enforcement oversteps, heads the new subcommittee charged with investigating the FBI and DOJ.
Amid headline-level allegations of government and law enforcement overreach and impropriety, many were surprised to learn that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is reportedly planning to proceed with indicting former President Donald Trump with charges related to “hush money” payments to adult film participant Stormy Daniels in 2016.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has joined Elon Musk, former Vice President Mike Pence, McCarthy, Jordan and 2024 GOP presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy, along with many others, in rebuking Bragg and warning an unprecedented indictment on Trump would erode the waning confidence Americans have in the judicial system.
DeSantis framed Bragg as a “Soros-funded prosecutor” who is “pursuing a political agenda and weaponizing [his] office.”
“I do know this,” DeSantis said. “The Manhattan district attorney is a Soros-funded prosecutor, and so he, like other Soros-funded prosecutors, they weaponize their office to impose a political agenda on society at the expense of the rule of law and public safety.”
DeSantis noted the Manhattan DA’s office had not made a formal announcement regarding an indictment, but last Friday it leaked information indicated an indictment was coming this week.
On Saturday, Trump claimed Bragg was conducting a partisan witch hunt and said an indictment was coming on Tuesday. Trump called supporters to protest if Bragg followed through with his reported plans.
DeSantis said: “I’ve seen rumors swirl, I have not seen any facts yet, and so I don’t know what’s going to happen.”
The indictment stems from $130,000 in “hush money” reportedly paid by then-Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to Daniels (legal name is Stephanie Clifford). Clifford claims she had a sexual encounter with Trump in 2006.
Both Clifford and Cohen are considered low-confidence witnesses. Cohen recently completed a three-year prison sentence for fraud, embezzlement and lying to Congress. Clifford has also perjured herself in court.
Many question why the DA would make the unprecedented move of indicting a former president when material witnesses in the case are exceptionally weak.
For these reasons, in 2019 Federal prosecutors in the U.S. attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York elected not to charge Trump in a complaint regarding Clifford. The Federal Election Commission followed suit in 2021 when they investigated the matter.
DeSantis commented: “If you have a prosecutor who is ignoring crimes happening every single day in his jurisdiction, and he chooses to go back many, many years ago, to try to use something about porn star hush money payments, you know, that’s an example of pursuing a political agenda and weaponizing the office. And I think that that’s fundamentally wrong.”
DeSantis added that Bragg’s political agenda is negatively impacting residents of New York. He noted:
“The real victims are ordinary New Yorkers, ordinary Americans and all these different jurisdictions that they get victimized every day, because of the reckless political agenda that the Soros DA’s bring to their job. They ignore crime, and they empower criminals, and that hurts people, hurts a lot of people every single day.”
Notably, in 2022, Bragg downgraded more than half of felony cases, including armed robberies of commercial businesses, to misdemeanors. His unusual move, which resulted in a 35% decrease in the prosecution of felony cases when compared to 2019, came at a time when crime stats for the city were up 27.6%. Crime continues to spiral out of control in the big city.
DeSantis noted that progressive policies are detrimental: “These Soros district attorneys are a menace to society. And I’m just glad that I’m the only governor in the country that’s actually removed one from office during my tenure.”
In 2022, DeSantis dismissed State Attorney Andrew Warren, whom Fox News described as “a Democratic prosecutor backed by liberal billionaire George Soros,” for “neglecting his duties.”
When reporters asked DeSantis if he would somehow intervene to support Trump if indicted, he said, “We are not involved in this and won’t be involved in this.”
DeSantis added: “I have no interest in getting involved in some type of manufactured circus by some Soros DA. He’s trying to do a political spectacle. He’s trying to virtue signal for his base. I’ve got real issues I got to deal with here in the state of Florida.”
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