Bentz: Facts don’t support Trump indictments

ONTARIO – U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz believes the federal justice system is being influenced to attack former President Donald Trump for political reasons.

The former president was indicted Tuesday, Aug 1, on federal charges accusing him of a conspiracy to corruptly keep his office despite losing the 2020 election. He pleaded not guilty to the charges Thursday, Aug. 3.

The federal charges were brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith.

Trump faces at least four different criminal investigations at the federal and state level.

Bentz, an attorney and a Republican who represents Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District, said last week that the facts don’t support the legal principles Smith is employing.

“He (Smith) has three legal theories. The first one is fraud, or criminal fraud, then obstruction of justice and the third is civil rights violations. You have to look at those laws and then look at the facts and see if those facts rise to the level of a violation of those laws. I would suggest they do not,” said Bentz.

Bentz said the indictments stem from the conclusions of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol, often referred to the January 6th Committee.

“To me that suggests this is far more political then legal,” said Bentz.

So far, there is no evidence publicly available to show that is true.

Bentz said he didn’t believe Trump’s rhetoric triggered the Jan. 6 mob attack on the Capitol.

“There is rhetoric. And there is criminal activity. You can talk all you want in our country because we have freedom of speech. Donald Trump talked a lot but I don’t think it is criminally actionable,” said Bentz.

Bentz said he still stands behind his perception after the 2020 election that the election process in Pennsylvania was not constitutional.

Pennsylvania was a linchpin to a strategy to deliver the election to Trump by disputing results in several states. At the time and once in Congress, Bentz took issue with Pennsylvania state officials allowing mail-in ballots to be counted.

“I have not changed my position on my move not to count the electoral votes on Pennsylvania. My position is based on the Constitution and remains based on the Constitution. Pennsylvania had serious, serious problems,” he said.

In the wake of the latest indictment, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-California, alleged the U.S. Department of Justice used the indictment against Trump to divert attention from President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

“Everyone in America could see what was going to come next: DOJ’s attempt to distract from the news and attack the frontrunner of the Republican nomination, President Trump,” McCarthy tweeted Aug. 1.

He also tweeted Hunter Biden received money from China, contradicting President Biden’s claim that he did not.

“Biden’s DOJ tried to secretly give Hunter broad immunity and admitted the sweetheart deal was unprecedented,” tweeted McCarthy.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected].

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