Some Senate Republicans oppose Trump’s efforts to demonize the FBI and DOJ amid the 37-count indictment against him.
In the same way that his claims of widespread election fraud became a major divide within the GOP during the 2022 midterm election, Trump’s attacks on the FBI are becoming a dividing line.
Some lawmakers are concerned that Trump’s rhetorical assault on the DOJ could incite violence. As a consequence of this, some are urging fellow Republicans to moderate their rhetoric.
The ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), stated that House Republicans who make statements that have a violent undertone are acting irresponsibly.
That is irresponsible of them. Graham stated, “There is no violent solution to this problem.”
By pointing out that Trump will have fair representation in court, Graham attempted to silence Trump allies who are comparing the federal indictment of the former president to an act of war.
He stated, “We have a legal system; he will be represented; there will be appeals; this will reach the Supreme Court.” The Republican side holds the belief that the law does not apply equally to Republicans and Democrats, but this is not a reason to commit violent acts.
Graham addressed the media following Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) tweeted that: “An eye for an eye,” they declared, “We have reached a new war phase.”
Clay Higgins, Rep. (R-La.) made several tactical military allusions in a tweet last week after announcing the indictment.
“This is a perimeter probe from the oppressors. Hold. rPOTUS has this. Buckle up. 1/50K know your bridges. Rock steady calm. That is all,” he said, using an acronym to denote the “real president of the United States.”
The military uses 1:50,000 maps, and bridges are important strategic points in combat.
Similar to how many voters were turned off by Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was stolen last year, some Republican senators are concerned that echoing Trump’s attacks on federal law enforcement will further polarize the nation and alienate moderate and swing voters.
“It was not too many years ago when the big cry [on the Left] was, ‘Defund the police,’ and Republicans were saying, ‘Are you out of your mind?’ Now the Republicans are saying defund the Department of Justice, defund the FBI. What are we doing, people? Yes, I’m worried,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).
She stated, “We can’t get to a place where justice is in the beholder’s eye, that only if it works for me that justice is fair.” Unfortunately, this rhetoric does nothing to uphold the integrity and credibility” of the justice system, which is something we need to believe in.
A June 9-10 ABC News/Ipsos poll of 910 adults nationwide found that 63% of independents believe Trump’s charges are “serious.” 33% of independents agreed that Trump should not be charged with a crime, and 45% agreed that he should be charged.
On Thursday, Senate Republican Whip John Thune (S.D.) brushed aside calls from some Republicans to reduce funding for the FBI and DOJ in response to Trump’s indictment.
He told reporters in front of the Capitol, “You have to understand, we need a Justice Department.”
Although House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), in April, proposed reducing the Justice Department’s funding, Thune stated that officials must respond to congressional requests for information.
Is the Justice Department going to be eliminated? No. Thune stated, “I think defunding is a really bad idea.”
Thune defended Special Counsel Jack Smith as a prosecutor with “a job to do” despite dismissing some of the incendiary rhetoric from GOP lawmakers as political posturing.
He said of federal prosecutors, “The important thing for them to demonstrate is that they can apply an equal standard of justice across the board for all.” We need to let the grand jury, or they have brought these charges, so we need to let that process play out.”
Trump told a group of supporters at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, just hours after Smith was arraigned in Miami, that Smith is “a raging and uncontrolled Trump-hater, as is his wife.”
Democrats in the Senate are concerned that Trump may incite a violent response, similar to what he did on January 6, 2021, when he told supporters to “fight like hell” before they stormed the Capitol to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s victory.
“When I was a prosecutor and tried cases, the standard defense was to attack the prosecutor, denigrate the FBI, and challenge the government’s motives. It’s a distraction. In this instance it’s a very dangerous distraction because it degrades and undercuts the public’s trust in our law enforcement institutions because it’s coming not from a criminal defendant but from elected officials. I think it’s abhorrent,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), a former U.S. attorney.
Dick Durbin, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee (D-Ill.), said that lawmakers couldn’t rule out the possibility that Trump’s words could cause people to act violently.
“Having lived through January 6, you cannot dismiss the possibility, but I hope that cooler heads will prevail on both sides of the aisle,” he said.
Concerning Trump’s indictment on 31 federal charges, such as violating the Espionage Act and conspiring to obstruct justice, numerous Republican senators have remained silent.
However, a number of well-known Republicans have come to his defense, claiming that the JOD is prosecuting him for political reasons.
James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee (R-Ky.), said to Sean Hannity of Fox News that President Biden has “mishandled classified documents in a much more severe manner than Donald Trump ever mishandled classified documents” and that there is a “protocol of the FBI not investigating anything with respect to Biden.”
Later on, he tweeted, “There is a two-tier system of justice in this country,” which has been used by other Republicans as a talking point.
John Barrasso, the Republican Conference Chairman of the Senate, last week stated that the indictment appeared to be “an unequal application of justice” and that it “felt political, and it’s rotten.”
While the federal indictment of Trump alleges that he sought to obstruct the FBI’s effort to retrieve secret materials, the fact that Biden pledged to cooperate with the DOJ and immediately returned classified documents to the nation is a key distinction between their possession of classified documents.