On Tuesday, the Biden Department of Justice arrested leading 2024 Republican presidential contender and 45th President Donald J. Trump. Trump was indicted last week on 37 counts involving his alleged mishandling of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago residence. Trump pleaded “not guilty” to all charges.
Alina Habba, one of former President Trump’s lawyers said the targeted “prosecution of a leading political opponent is the type of thing you see in dictatorships like Cuba and Venezuela. It is commonplace there for rival candidates to be prosecuted, persecuted, and put into jail,” she said on Tuesday.
Ohio politicians and hopefuls react
Several prominent Ohio Republicans have publicly condemned the unprecedented federal indictment of Donald Trump. This is the first time in American history a former president has ever been federally charged with a crime.
Presidential Candidate Vivek Ramaswamy weighs in
Ohio entrepreneur and GOP Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy posted a challenge to the other Republican candidates in a tweet that was criticized for appearing to assume the president’s guilt. The tweet stated:
“I challenge every US Presidential candidate to join me in standing for TRUTH. Commit to pardon Donald Trump for these federal charges on Day 1, or explain why you won’t. No one should hide. Not Biden. Not DeSantis. Not Haley. Not Pence. Not RFK. Not Scott. Not anyone. Principles over politics.”
Ohio US congressional members react
Ohio Republican Senator J.D. Vance criticized the indictment by Biden’s Department of Justice as an example of the weaponization of the legal system, a blatant attempt to interfere in the 2024 election and a distraction from the allegations of Joe Biden’s illegal activity revealed on the same day.
“We live in a third-world country with a two-tiered justice system. The actions of the corrupt Department of Justice should stand as a warning to all Americans: if the leader of our great nation could fall victim to such an injustice the same can happen for anybody. President Trump’s indictment this evening further perpetuates the fact that we have succumbed as a nation to a banana republic, whose elite class decides the winners and the losers. It is a blatant, disgusting interference in the 2024 election and demonstrates extreme hypocrisy and attempted distraction from the allegations of Joe Biden’s illegal activity revealed today. President Trump has before and will again deliver real lasting policies for Americans, while the woke Left continues its charade of sham indictments. The American People know what they’re up to and they’re sick of the same tired political corruption that dominates Washington. I look forward to President Trump taking the White House once again and putting an end to this nonsense.”
Vance also made his thoughts known on Twitter:
“Biden is attacking his most likely 2024 opponent. He’s using the justice system to preemptively steal the 2024 election. This is what’s happening, plain and simple.”
“The former president will be indicted for “mishandling” his own government’s classified info. Yet everyone agrees the president has the authority to declassify anything. This is a moral and constitutional joke. Merrick Garland has disgraced this country.”
“Justice isn’t blind in the federal case against President Trump. And everyone knows it.”
In an earlier tweet, Jordan stated:
“Merrick Garland’s DOJ: One standard of “justice” for Republicans, parents, and traditional Catholics. Another for Democrats.”
Rep. Bill Johnson (R, Ohio’s 6th District) pointed out in a tweet the double standard of indicting former President Trump and the previous actions of Hillary Clinton:
“The weaponization of our legal system to go after political opponents is a major concern. No one is above the law. But if Hillary Clinton can get away with “mishandling” classified material by setting up her own home-brew server and smashing cell phones with hammers to destroy evidence, how can a former president be indicted for how he handled his own administration’s classified information? It’s a double standard, and it’s dangerous…every American should be concerned.”
Rep. Max Miller (R, Ohio’s 7th District) called the action “persecution of a great leader” in a tweet:
“I watched the spectacle in Miami today. It’s sad to see the persecution of a great leader. President Trump never waivers and neither will my support for him. This will not stand.”
Rep. Mike Carey (R, Ohio’s 15th District) tweeted his concern about the federal government being weaponized against the former president:
“Once again, the federal government is being weaponized against President Trump. The American people see this for what it is – the Biden Admin’s unjust & brazen attempt to damage a political opponent as they ignore the current President’s classified documents & bribery accusations”
Representatives Brad Wenstrup(R, Ohio’s 2nd District) Bob Latta (R, Ohio’s 5th District), Dave Joyce (R, Ohio’s 14th District). Warren Davidson (R, Ohio’s 8th District); Troy Balderson (R, Ohio’s 12th District) and Mike Turner (R, Ohio’s 10th District) have not yet made a public statement.
Potential U.S. Senate candidates weigh in
Cleveland businessman Bernie Moreno, who declared his candidacy for US Senator from Ohio this spring, tweeted about the politically motivated indictment and the two-tiered system of justice:
“With their politically motivated indictment of Trump, Biden’s corrupt DOJ has not only created a two tiered system of justice, but they’re clearly trying to create a chilling effect for conservatives who challenge government orthodoxy and want to dismantle their Deep State.”
In an earlier tweet Moreno reacted to the banana-like republic actions of the Biden administration:
“On same day that Biden has been implicated in a corruption scandal involving bribes from Ukraine, the leading candidate for US Presidency is indicted by his opponent’s justice department. America is starting to look more like the countries I left than like the country I came to.”
State Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls, who announced his bid for the GOP nomination in January 2023, has not yet made any public statements on the indictment.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, who is expected to announce a run for US Senate this summer and was endorsed by Trump in his 2022 primary race for secretary of state, has not made a public statement.
Ohio political leaders react
Governor Mike DeWine responded briefly when asked at a press conference about the charges against former President Donald Trump and whether it affects his support of Trump’s 2024 campaign. Trump endorsed DeWine in his re-election bid last year.
DeWine was quoted as saying “These are very serious charges. Again, I have faith in the judicial system. It will work out. Justice will be done,” DeWine said. “I have not endorsed anybody for president yet.”
No public statements have been made by Lt. Governor Jon Husted or Attorney General Dave Yost at the time of posting.