GOP Hesitant to Defend Trump as New Indictment Looms

( – On July 18, Donald Trump posted a statement on his Truth Social page announcing that he received a letter from President Joe Biden’s “deranged” Special Counsel Jack Smith. The correspondence said he was a “TARGET” of the January 6 grand jury investigation. The former president warned his followers that receiving a target letter “almost always” means the recipient is facing criminal charges and an imminent arrest. Recent reports indicated that several Republican lawmakers are hesitant to defend Trump in the face of a looming indictment.

Several Republican House members, though, quickly came to Trump’s defense. For example, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) accused the Biden administration of weaponizing the Justice Department against the president’s “number one opponent.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) vowed to defund the special counsel’s investigation. Likewise, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) called the target letter “absolute b*******” and promised to stand beside Trump.

However, Senate Republicans didn’t display the same enthusiasm when it came to defending Trump. As usual, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) remained silent about the possible filing of a third indictment against the former president. The two men reportedly haven’t spoken since late 2020.

Similarly, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) avoided directly addressing the issue. Instead, she called the situation a “never-ending story,” telling reporters, “That’s my statement.” She serves as the vice chair of the Senate Republican Conference.

Other influential Senate Republicans took a similar approach to the controversy. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said the Justice Department had the authority to investigate Trump, avoiding the topic altogether. He served as the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee from 2009 to 2013 and as Senate Majority Whip for four years, ending in January 2019.

Current Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-SD) hedged when asked by a reporter whether it would be legitimate for Justice Department prosecutors to indict Trump. He replied that he didn’t know any specifics about Smith’s investigation and that it would depend on whether or not it determined that any laws were broken.

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