FIRST ON FOX: Republicans on Tuesday called the latest indictment of former President Trump an “outrageous abuse of power” and dismissed it as an attempt by the Biden administration to distract from testimony from earlier in the week about President Biden’s son Hunter.
House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik of New York told Fox News Digital Special Counsel Jack Smith’s indictment against Trump marks “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.”
“Less than 24 hours ago, Congress heard testimony from Hunter Biden’s longtime business partner that Joe Biden joined Hunter’s business calls over 20 times,” Stefanik said. “This directly contradicts Biden’s lie that he never discussed business with his son.
“Today’s sham indictment of Donald Trump is yet another desperate attempt to distract attention away from the mounting evidence of Joe Biden’s direct involvement in his family’s illegal influence peddling scheme, one of the greatest political corruption scandals in history.
“President Trump had every right under the First Amendment to correctly raise concerns about election integrity in 2020. Despite the DOJ’s illegal attempt to interfere in the 2024 election on behalf of Joe Biden, President Trump continues to skyrocket in the polls and will defeat Joe Biden and be sworn in as President of the United States in January 2025.”
Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga., who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, told Fox News Digital the “double standard is baffling” to him.
“How can the justice system recommend a plea deal for Hunter Biden but continue to pursue President Trump this way?” Scott said. “It’s like we are in [an] authoritarian state.”
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., told Fox News Digital the “news of another indictment against President Trump is no shock ahead of 2024.”
“The left knows they can’t beat Trump amid Biden’s failures, so they’re trying to take him out with criminal charges,” Blackburn said. “Biden’s abusing two tiers of justice to target his greatest political opponent.”
Oklahoma GOP Sen. Markwayne Mullin told Fox News Digital, “Once again, leftist Democrats are weaponizing the Department of Justice to attack Joe Biden’s strongest political opponent while turning a blind eye to the corrupt Biden regime.
“President Trump is a champion for America First, and I’ll do everything in my power to help him win back the White House in 2024.”
Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, told Fox News Digital “President Trump truly cares and wants the best for the American people.
“He’s committed to draining the swamp, and the left hates him for it,” Nehls said. “This is yet again another attempt by the current administration to imprison their top political rival.”
“Shameful!” he added.
Nehls also tweeted “witch hunt” after the indictment was handed down.
Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., told Fox News Digital that barely “a day after devastating testimony from Hunter Biden’s business partner that the Big Guy Joe Biden was a part of conversations related to Hunter’s sleazy influence peddling, Biden’s corrupt and weaponized Department of Justice magically brings more charges against Biden’s political opponent and biggest threat to re-election, President Donald J. Trump.
“The American people are smart enough to see through this disgraceful cover-up of the Biden Crime Family and the unjust persecution of President Trump.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., tweeted about the recent revelations regarding President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, saying Americans “could see what was going to come next: DOJ’s attempt to distract from the news and attack the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, President Trump.”
“House Republicans will continue to uncover the truth about Biden Inc. and the two-tiered system of justice.”
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., tweeted, “Let’s be clear about what’s happening: Biden’s DOJ is cutting sweetheart deals for Hunter to cover for the Biden Family’s influence peddling schemes while at the same time trying to persecute his leading political opponent.
“It’s an outrageous abuse of power.”
Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley tweeted the “Biden DOJ unveils the latest effort to stop Trump from running against Biden – totally unprecedented in American history.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan tweeted when “you drain The Swamp, The Swamp fights back.
“President Trump did nothing wrong!”
The Republicans’ comments come after Smith’s indictment Tuesday of Trump for his actions related to the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
Smith said Tuesday the riot was “fueled by lies” from former President Donald Trump, who he charged with “conspiring to defraud the United States, conspiring to disenfranchise voters and conspiring and attempting to obstruct an official proceeding.”
Smith made a public statement shortly after the federal indictment against Trump was unsealed Tuesday afternoon, encouraging “everyone to read it in full.”
“The attack on our nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy,” Smith said Tuesday. “Described in the indictment, it was fueled by lies — lies by the defendant — targeted at obstructing a bedrock function of the U.S. government, the nation’s process of collecting, counting and certifying the results of the presidential election.”
Smith added, though, that the indictment “is only an allegation and that the defendant must be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.”
The indictment names only the former president, but lists six unnamed co-conspirators. Smith said the investigation into “other individuals continues in this case.”
Smith said the “men and women of law enforcement who defended the U.S. Capitol on January 6th are heroes.”
“They are patriots, and they are the very best of us. They did not just defend a building or the people sheltering in it,” Smith said. “They put their lives on the line to defend who we are as a country and as a people. They defended the very institutions and principles that defined the United States.”
Fox News Digital’s Brooke Singman contributed reporting.