House Republicans reacted with outrage Thursday night to the federal indictment against former President Donald J. Trump, vowing to use their majority in Congress to fight the Justice Department.
“WITCH HUNT,” was posted on the Twitter account of the Republican-led House Judiciary Committee within minutes of news of the indictment going public.
The chairman of that panel, Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, has used his cane to try and pressure the Justice Department over what he considers unfair treatment of Mr. Trump. Mr Jordan sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland this week demanding unredacted documents related to the investigation from Special Counsel, Jack Smith.
“It’s a sad day for America,” Jordan said in a statement Thursday. “God bless President Trump.”
Members of Congress do not have the power to stop criminal charges, but they can try to obstruct prosecutors through their legislative powers, such as issuing subpoenas, requiring witnesses or documents, limiting funding for the Justice Department and using their bureaus’ platform to publicly try to influence the case.
Several Republicans closely associated with Trump said, without evidence, the indictment was an attempt to distract from their investigation of President Biden’s family, including his son Hunter’s business dealings. They made it clear that they would target federal law enforcement in retaliation.
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, said the case against Mr. Trump was a “blemish on our nation that the FBI and DOJ are so corrupt and they don’t even hide it anymore.” She added: “We have to win in 2024. We have to beat these sick people.”
Representative Matt Gaetz, a Florida Republican and one of Trump’s closest allies, predicted the former president would overcome the charges and his rivals would be imprisoned.
“This scheme will not succeed. President Donald Trump will be back in the White House and Joe Biden will be Hunter’s cellmate,” Gaetz wrote on Twitter.
It was the second time this year that House Republicans rallied to defend Mr Trump after he faced criminal charges. In April, Speaker Kevin McCarthy pledged to use House investigative powers to hold Manhattan district attorney Alvin L. Bragg “accountable” after Mr. Trump was charged in New York with 34 counts of forgery of business documents.