During most of the year, small cracks in Donald TrumpHis political support was growing.
Dissatisfied Republican primary voters began to consider new presidential prospects. GOP donors grapple with damaging revelations uncovered by the Jan. 6 committee. Some party leaders have considered challenging Trump for the party’s 2024 nomination.
But after the FBI executed a search warrant on his Florida property, Republicans quickly united behind the former president.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is likely to represent Trump’s strongest potential primary challenger, described the Biden administration as a “regime” and called the Mar-a-Lago search Monday. for improperly given classified documents is “another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the politically rival Regime.”
The GOP’s push to portray Trump as the victim of a politicized Justice Department that ignores potential criminal acts justifies the search in the eyes of a federal judge. It ignores Trump’s role in hiring FBI Director Chris Wray, who also served as a senior official in the Republican-led Justice Department. Meanwhile, the Biden White House said it had no prior knowledge of the search.
But the strong defense serves as a refreshing reminder of the former president’s enduring grip on the GOP, fueled by his ability to use the feelings of discontent many Republican voters have over the GOP. with government and other organisations.
Trump supporters protest FBI raid on former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate
Trump exploited that hatred to get through two impeachments and the aftermath of an uprising. His allies said Tuesday that the FBI’s search would only strengthen his position again.
“The sooner he starts his campaign, the better,” Indiana GOP Representative Jim Banks, chairman of the Republican Research Committee, said in an interview.
The bankers were among about a dozen Republican lawmakers who spent a few hours Tuesday night with Trump at his summer home in Bedminster, New Jersey. Over a meal that included steak, scallops, mashed potatoes, salad and Trump cookies, the group talked about the upcoming midterm elections and the 2024 presidential race, Banks said.
The former president told lawmakers his “mind has been decided” on a 2024 campaign and “we will all be pleased with his decision.”
The FBI search appeared to trigger a shift among Trump advisers, who had once urged him to wait until after the midterm elections to announce his intention to seek the presidency again. Suddenly, some of the same advisers urged him to launch his campaign before the November election.
Trump sparked such speculations in the hours following the search by posting a campaign-style video on social media. “The best is yet to come,” he said.
He continued with a call for the fundraiser, making it personal by stating “it’s important for you to know that it’s not just my home that’s been invaded – it’s the home of every patriotic American. that I fought.”
FBI raids Trump’s Florida home
In Columbia, South Carolina, Sen. Lindsey Graham said he has spoken with Trump and feels certain that another campaign is coming.
“One thing I can tell you,” Graham said. “I did believe he would run before then. I am stronger about my beliefs now.”
As Republicans rallied after Trump, Democrats pushed back against the GOP’s claims of political interference without evidence. Some of the GOP accusations stray from its longstanding commitment to “law and order.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “The director of the FBI has been appointed by Donald Trump.
When asked if the raid could harm Democrats in the November election, she said: “You’re talking about if the Justice Department decides to have an arrest warrant because they suspect it’s not going to happen. Suspect something reasonable, it will have an impact on the election? No no no no no.”
Some of Trump’s strongest Republican critics still shy away from embracing the former president. And it’s not clear how Republican voters’ ratings and profiles and independents frustrated by Trump’s divisive leadership might be swayed by the new developments.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor and one of many Republicans considering running for president in 2024, noted Tuesday that a federal judge must sign on this order.
“The former president is presumed innocent,” Christie said in an interview. “On the other hand, we cannot immediately confirm the prosecutors’ motives simply because they are from a different political party.”
“It was an extraordinary act. And it’s better to have some rather extraordinary facts to underpin it. If so, then they have every right to do so. “
Trump says FBI executed search warrant at his Mar-a-Lago home
And several other Republican officials seem to continue to express concerns about Trump by refusing to weigh in.
The relatively short list of GOP leaders who remained silent on Tuesday afternoon was led by Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who has privately encouraged his party to overtake Trump. But the Kentucky Republican ultimately weighed in: “The country deserves a thorough and immediate explanation of what led up to Monday’s events. Attorney General Garland and the Department of Justice should have provided answers to the American people and must do so immediately.”
The majority – from House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy to DeSantis, accuse the Biden administration of “weaponizing” the Justice Department and ignoring any potential Trump wrongdoing.
“The GOP now fully accepts the view that Trump should really be above the law and that Trump 2.0 will be the flame of revenge,” wrote Republican commentator Charlie Sykes, a frequent Trump critic.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is preparing for a presidential run of his own, said he shares the “deep concern of millions of Americans” about the raids on Trump’s residence.
However, he stopped attacking the FBI. Instead, he said Attorney General Merrick Garland should “fully inform the American people of why this action was taken and he must do so immediately.”
Republican sentiment, Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Josh Hawley of Missouri have strongly condemned the Department of Justice on behalf of Trump.
Hawley called the search “an unprecedented attack on democratic norms and the rule of law.” He called for Garland to resign or be impeached and to remove FBI Director Wray.
Cotton said Garland has “weaponized” the Justice Department against his political enemies. “There will be consequences to this,” he warned.
Also from Arkansas, Governor Asa Hutchinson, still another key Republican in the 2024 race, called the search “unprecedented and alarming.” But like Pence, he added, “We’ll have to see the probable cause affidavit before making a verdict.”
The search has intensified a months-long investigation into how classified documents ended up in White House file boxes located at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year. A separate grand jury is investigating efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
At the end of June, long before the latest developments, 48% of US adults said Trump should be impeached for his role in the January 6 attack on the Capitol, according to a poll. from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Views of Trump’s criminal responsibility have broken along party lines, with 86% of Democrats and 10% of Republicans saying Trump should be impeached. Still, the fact that nearly half the nation believes he should be indicted represents a remarkable position for the former president, pointing to the difficulties he may face in another White House run.
Former Trump adviser Sam Nunberg said Monday’s FBI search would almost certainly strengthen Trump’s standing among Republican primary voters, especially those from the Republican Party. was starting to lean towards DeSantis or another fresh face. But if Trump is ultimately indicted for federal crimes related to the search, as Nunberg said he expected, the former president’s ability to win over a larger group of voters in next year’s general election could be a problem. 2024 could be hugely impacted.
“Despite the fantasies of everyone from Sean Hannity to Steve Bannon, I can promise you that someone under the indictment will not be elected president of the United States,” Nunberg said.
But on Tuesday, at least, the Republican Party was behind Trump, its undisputed leader.
One of Trump’s strongest supporters in Congress, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, appeared to thank the Justice Department for bringing her party together.
“I’ve talked a lot about the civil war in the GOP and I pay attention to it because America needs fearless and effective Republicans to finally put America First,” she tweeted. “Last night’s FBI dictator raid on MAR is uniting us in ways I’ve never seen before.”
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