In the aftermath of the indictment of former President Donald Trump, a contrasting response has emerged between Senate GOP leaders, who remain restrained, and House Republicans, who vow political payback.
While numerous Republican senators, many of whom have already endorsed Trump for the upcoming presidential election, came to Trump’s defense, there was one voice of criticism within the Senate Republican Conference.
Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, a Trump critic who had voted twice to convict the former president on impeachment charges, spoke out on Friday, saying, “By all appearances, the Justice Department and special counsel have exercised due care, affording Mr. Trump the time and opportunity to avoid charges that would not generally have been afforded to others.”
Romney added that if proven, the allegations against Trump would align with his previous actions that were detrimental to the national interest, such as the Ukraine controversy and the failure to defend the Capitol during the violent attack and insurrection.
In contrast, prominent House Republicans swiftly directed their criticism towards the Department of Justice, special counsel Jack Smith, the FBI, and Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Ultra-conservative Rep. Andy Biggs, of Arizona, wasted no time to attack the DOj following the indictment, tweeting: “We ought to defund and dismantle the DOJ,” immediately after Trump announced the news on Truth Social.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise quickly rushed to Trump’s defense, blasting the Justice Department over the indictment and pledging to hold the administration accountable.
“Let’s be clear about what’s happening: Joe Biden is weaponizing his Department of Justice against his own political rival. This sham indictment is the continuation of the endless political persecution of Donald Trump,” Scalise tweeted.
Meanwhile, House Majority Whip Tom Emmer echoed similar sentiments, stating in a tweet, “This is the ultimate abuse of power, and they will be held accountable.”
Some House Republicans, going beyond the speaker, even called for the impeachment of President Biden, Attorney General Garland, and FBI Director Christopher Wray, without waiting for the details of the indictment.
Representative Mike Collins from Georgia expressed in a statement, “It is time for Congress to rein in the FBI and DOJ and impeach President Biden, Attorney General Garland, and Director Wray.”
Overall, as the indictment of Donald Trump unfolds, Senate GOP leaders maintain a restrained stance, while House Republicans voice their determination for political retribution.