GOP Candidates Defend Trump Amid New Investigation Announcement

A number of rivals opposing former President Donald Trump announced their criticism of a recent letter from special counsel Jack Smith indicating another investigation into the 45th president. The latest probe may play a significant role in shaping the upcoming 2024 Republican presidential primary process.

Since the announcement of the new investigation linked to the Jan. 6, 2021 protests, the former president sharply disagreed with Smith’s decision. 

However, Trump was not the only outspoken voice. Republican candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said that the pending investigation was “different from any of the other prior indictments against Trump.”

“This one under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment could disqualify President Trump from either running for U.S. president or potentially even being removed as U.S. president if he is elected. Either sets a dangerous precedent here,” the candidate said.

Ramaswamy said that he did not “want to see my opponents eliminated because of the actions of a corrupt federal administrative police state.”

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) said that the current situation will “going to keep on going.” She said that the remainder of the primary season will “be in reference to Trump, it’s going to be about lawsuits, it’s going to be about legal fees, it’s going to be about judges and it’s going to continue to be a further and further distraction.”

Trump’s closest opponent, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis referenced the Department of Justice (DOJ) and FBI, saying that he desired to “end the weaponization of these agencies. I will get that job done.”

He separately said, “I hope he doesn’t get charged. I don’t think it’d be good for the country.”

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) said that an election should “decide the next president of the United States.”

“You’re innocent until you’re proven guilty,” he said. 

Trump described the decision as “election interference” and a “disgrace what’s happening to our country.” 

He also described the Department of Justice’s actions as an “absolute weapon.”