Reactions to Trump indictment over bid to reverse his 2020 US election loss

WASHINGTON, Aug 1 (Reuters) – The following are some reactions to the four-count indictment charging Republican Donald Trump with conspiring to defraud the United States by attempting to overturn his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden and to deprive voters of their right to a fair election:

SPECIAL COUNSEL JACK SMITH, WHO OVERSEES THE INVESTIGATION:

“The attack on our nation’s Capitol on January 6, 2021, was an unprecedented assault on the seat of American democracy. It’s described in the indictment. It was fueled by lies, lies by the defendant (Trump) targeted at obstructing a bedrock function of the U.S. government. … In this case, my office will seek a speedy trial so that our evidence can be tested in court and judged by a jury of citizens.”

TRUMP CAMPAIGN:

“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? ….. The answer is, election interference! … These un-American witch hunts will fail and President Trump will be re-elected to the White House”.

U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL MERRICK GARLAND:

“Immediately after the January 6 attack on our democracy, the career men and women of the Justice Department engaged in what has become the largest investigation in our history. …. Mr. Smith and his team of experienced, principled, career agents and prosecutors have followed the facts and the law wherever they lead. Any questions about this matter will have to be answered by the filings made in a courtroom.”

REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE RON DESANTIS:

“As President, I will end the weaponization of government, replace the FBI Director, and ensure a single standard of justice for all Americans. While I’ve seen reports, I have not read the indictment. I do, though, believe we need to enact reforms so that Americans have the right to remove cases from Washington, DC to their home districts.”

DEMOCRATIC FORMER U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI:

“The charges alleged in this indictment are very serious, and they must play out through the legal process, peacefully and without any outside interference. Like every criminal defendant, the former President is innocent until proven guilty.”

DEMOCRATIC SENATE MAJORITY LEADER CHUCK SCHUMER AND HOUSE DEMOCRATIC LEADER HAKEEM JEFFRIES:

“The insurrection on January 6, 2021, was one of the saddest and most infamous days in American history, personally orchestrated by Donald Trump and fueled by his insidious Big Lie in an attempt to undermine the 2020 election. … 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.”

REPUBLICAN HOUSE SPEAKER KEVIN MCCARTHY:

“Everyone in America 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.”

REPUBLICAN HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER STEVE SCALISE:

“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.”

REPUBLICAN HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CHAIR JIM JORDAN:

“When you drain The Swamp, The Swamp fights back. President Trump did nothing wrong!”

REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ASA HUTCHINSON:

“I have always said that Donald Trump is morally responsible for the attack on our democracy. Now, with today’s indictment, our system of Justice will determine whether he is criminally responsible.”

REPUBLICAN U.S. SENATOR TED BUDD:

“Again and again, the Biden administration has weaponized the justice system to target his chief political opponent. Joe Biden’s continued abuse of power must be confronted by Congress and his administration must be held accountable.”

DEMOCRATIC SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CHAIR DICK DURBIN:

“No man, not even a former President, is above the law. The anger and resentment Donald Trump stoked with his ‘Big Lie’ put the country a half step away from a constitutional crisis”.

WHITE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON:

“We would refer you to the Justice Department, which conducts its criminal investigations independently.”

Reporting by Kanishka Singh, David Morgan, Jasper Ward and Costas Pitas; editing by Grant McCool

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Thomson Reuters

Kanishka Singh is a breaking news reporter for Reuters in Washington DC, who primarily covers US politics and national affairs in his current role. His past breaking news coverage has spanned across a range of topics like the Black Lives Matter movement; the US elections; the 2021 Capitol riots and their follow up probes; the Brexit deal; US-China trade tensions; the NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan; the COVID-19 pandemic; and a 2019 Supreme Court verdict on a religious dispute site in his native India.

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