(The Center Square) – Former President Donald Trump faces new charges related to his role in protesting the 2020 presidential election results, sparking a wave of pushback and continued criticism of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Trump released a lengthy statement online Tuesday night blasting the 45-page indictment, his third.
“This is nothing more than the latest corrupt chapter in the continued pathetic attempt by the Biden Crime Family and their weaponized Department of Justice to interfere with the 2024 Presidential Election, in which President Trump is the undisputed frontrunner, and leading by substantial margins,” Trump said.
The latest poll from The New York Times/Siena College released Tuesday shows Trump and President Joe Biden in a dead heat if they were to face each other in the 2024 presidential election, with both candidates having 43% support.
Four new charges were included in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia indictment, which says Trump attempted “to make his knowingly false claims appear legitimate, create an intense national atmosphere of mistrust and anger, and erode public faith in the administration of the election.”
Trump also has been indicted on charges related to payments to Stormy Daniels and his handling of classified documents after leaving the White House.
The new indictment drew support from Trump’s critics and sparked fresh backlash from Trump and fellow Republicans who say the charges are politically motivated and argue that Biden has so far eluded charges of his own.
“Yesterday was yet another dark day in America as Joe Biden continues to weaponize his corrupt Department of Justice against his leading political opponent Donald J. Trump,” U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., said on social media.
For Democrats and Trump’s critics, the indictment is long overdue.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., released a joint statement responding to the indictment, saying it “illustrates in shocking detail that the violence of that day [Jan. 6, 2021] was the culmination of a months-long criminal plot.”
“This indictment is the most serious and most consequential thus far and will stand as a stark reminder to generations of Americans that no one, including a president of the United States, is above the law,” the lawmakers said. “The legal process must continue to move forward without any outside interference.”
In Trump’s response to the indictment late Monday, he raised a question his supporters have shared: why did the indictment take so long?
“But why did they wait two and a half years to bring these fake charges, right in the middle of President Trump’s winning campaign for 2024?” Trump said. “Why was it announced the day after the big Crooked Joe Biden scandal broke out from the Halls of Congress? The answer is, election interference!”
And the indictments have only seemed to help Trump’s campaign, or at the very least not sink it. His polling numbers rose after the FBI raid of his Mar-a-Lago estate last year.
“These un-American witch hunts will fail and President Trump will be re-elected to the White House so he can save our country from the abuse, incompetence, and corruption that is running through the veins of our country at levels never seen before,” Trump posted.
Now, he holds a sizable lead over the Republican primary field. According to the same poll, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis trails Trump with 17% support while former Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and former ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley all have 3% support. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and author and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy both have 2% support.
Pence, Trump’s vice president from 2017 to 2021, also took aim at his former boss after Tuesday’s indictment.
“Today’s indictment serves as an important reminder: anyone who puts himself over the Constitution should never be President of the United States,” Pence said in a statement. “I will have more to say about the government’s case after reviewing the indictment.”
But Trump’s supporters have remained by his side despite the legal woes.
“We’ve become completely accustomed to seeing President Trump indicted for ‘crimes’ while Joe Biden skirts the law every single day,” U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., said on social media. “No politically-motivated indictment is going to change my mind.”