Republican governor candidates blast legal system following Trump indictment

All four candidates seeking the 2024 Republican nomination for Indiana governor, including the state’s former attorney general, are condemning the judicial system following the latest criminal indictment of Donald Trump.

The Republican former president was accused by a grand jury comprised of Georgia citizens Monday of violating multiple state laws as part of a criminal enterprise seeking to reverse Trump’s loss in the 2020 presidential election.

The indictment details dozens of acts by Trump or his allies to undo his defeat, including beseeching Georgia’s Republican secretary of state to find enough votes for him to win the battleground state; harassing an election worker who faced false claims of fraud; plotting to access voting machines in a rural Georgia county and steal data from a voting machine company; and attempting to persuade Georgia lawmakers to ignore the will of voters and appoint a new slate of electoral college electors favorable to Trump.

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Trump separately has been accused of additional felonies in Washington, D.C., Florida and New York in connection with Trump allegedly instigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, illegally hoarding classified documents, and falsifying business records about a hush money payoff to a porn actor before the 2016 election.

Altogether, Trump is facing a total of 91 felony charges approved by grand juries of American citizens who determined it’s more likely than not Trump committed the crimes of which he’s accused.

Subsequent trials will determine whether Trump is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Rather than waiting for those trials, the Hoosier GOP gubernatorial candidates — who are competing to undertake the constitutional duty of taking care that the laws of Indiana are faithfully executed — instead are alleging something sinister is afoot.

Former Attorney General Curtis Hill, for example, claimed Tuesday “Democrat district attorneys across America” have been commanded to “find something, create something, anything at all to nail Trump,” or else lose financial support for their next campaign.

“I want President Trump to know this: Hoosiers stand behind him, and we will fight like hell to defend free speech and the integrity of our justice system from prosecutors who are out for revenge,” Hill said.

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, meanwhile, accused those prosecuting Trump of sacrificing their integrity to benefit Democratic President Joe Biden.

“Another week, another attempt by President Biden and his party’s prosecutors to put their leading political rival behind bars and interfere with the 2024 presidential election. President Biden’s weaponization of the justice system will cause irreversible damage to our nation and divide us further,” Braun said.

Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch went a step further and proclaimed the entire criminal justice system is engaged in a “war on conservatives” that “continues unabated and without shame.”

“Regardless of the indictments in Georgia, Hoosier voters know a double standard when they see it. If elected governor, I will never allow our courts to be weaponized against political opponents,” Crouch said.

Fort Wayne businessman Eric Doden likewise declared that “using the legal system for political gain degrades both it and our entire election process.”

“I’ve had enough of federal political theater and personality politics — and so have the voters I talk to. We’re fed up,” Doden said. “Indiana doesn’t need more politicians who obsess over political theater and personalities. We need leaders at the state level who will focus on real problems and real solutions for Hoosiers.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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