It was a remarkable statement from the second-place GOP candidate who is seen as the most viable alternative to Trump, but has struggled with how to challenge the former president without alienating his staunchest supporters.
It clearly showed the limits of how much DeSantis will take on Trump. As he eagerly points out differences in handling Covid-19 and takes consistent, often veiled jabs at Trump’s electability, DeSantis makes a calculated effort not to anger a growing political base that has emboldened Trump to back him on every legislative issue. .
Trump said Thursday that he would be charged with handling classified documents — 10 months after federal agents raided his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach and recovered records kept there. Trump said he has been summoned to federal court in Miami on Tuesday.
DeSantis has previously been highly critical of the FBI search of Mar-a-Lago. At the time DeSantis called it the “weaponization of the federal system.” Soon after he jumped into the presidential race, DeSantis said he would be “aggressive” in issuing pardons when asked if he would pardon Trump or those who rioted in the US Capitol on January 6.
Many Florida Republicans reacted similarly to DeSantis, suggesting without evidence that the timing of the indictment was designed to draw attention away from allegations that President Joe Biden was involved in a bribery scheme when he was vice president. Biden called the allegations contained in an unverified document shown to lawmakers Thursday “malarkey.”
“We have completely lost confidence in the DOJ,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) said on social media. “The DOJ needs to come out tonight and explain that this is somehow different than what Hillary (Clinton) did. What Biden did. All of this is happening on the same day that Biden’s $5M bribe comes out. This is America & it sure looks like a banana republic.
Florida Republican Party Chairman Christian Ziegler echoed Scott in a text message.
I’m looking forward to Joe Biden’s investigation and indictment saying, “Secret documents found in Joe Biden’s garage and a $5 million payment to Joe Biden from a foreign national … funny.” “We don’t have equal application of the justice system in America.”
At least 12 of Florida’s 20 Florida Republicans in the U.S. House have endorsed Trump for another term, while DeSantis has only picked up the delegate’s endorsement. Laurel Lee. Florida’s two senators have not endorsed the race.
“There is no limit to what these people will do to protect their power and destroy those who threaten it, even if it means tearing our country apart and public trust in the institutions that hold our republic together,” Sen. Marco Rubio He wrote on Twitter.