When Donald Trump’s indictment was unsealed Friday afternoon, Congressional Republicans generally had one response: circle the wagons around the former president, and take aim at anything related to President Joe Biden.
Many House Republicans decried the indictment as “weaponization” of the federal government against Biden’s presumed most-likely challenger for the presidency in 2024, suggested the indictment as election interference, political assassination, or called it a “sad day” in American history, seemingly seeking to discredit the Department of Justice and the Biden Administration at large.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy sought to frame the indictment as a double-standard, arguing that Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “handled classified info after their time in office & were never charged,” calling for an investigation into how their document matters were investigated.
He also quote-tweeted a letter from House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, an ardent Trump supporter, to Attorney General Merrick Garland, which characterizes the investigation as a “miscarriage of justice,” and repeatedly cites an interview with a retired senior FBI official who alleged “several abnormalities” in the search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.
In response, Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee posted a Twitter thread releasing portions of the interview transcript, including a section in which D’Antuono testified that “probable cause for…the lawful search of Mar-a-Lago is correct.”
One of the most notable far-right members of Congress, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said that Biden “should be handcuffed and hauled out of the White House for his crimes,” referring to unsubstantiated claims of bribery, while also referring to the subject of the House Judiciary letter.
For some, like Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., “weaponized justice” was suggested more literally. Little more than an hour after the indictment was unsealed, Biggs tweeted: “We have now reached a war phase. Eye for an eye.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries released a joint statement on Friday, beginning with that exact phrase.
“This indictment must now play out through the legal process, without any outside political or ideological interference,” the statement continues. “We encourage Mr. Trump’s supporters and critics alike to let this case proceed peacefully in court.”