republican debate

Trump’s GOP political rivals react to indictment

  • Donald Trump was indicted in the classified documents probe
  • Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley criticized the decision
  • Asa Hutchinson called on Trump to end his campaign

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(NewsNation) — At least two of Donald Trump’s GOP political rivals — Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley — are speaking out against the former president’s federal indictment.

DeSantis, who is polling second behind Trump in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, said late Thursday night the indictment constituted “weaponization of federal law enforcement.”

He had not yet made any further comment Friday after the indictment was unsealed. The Florida governor is scheduled to speak at the North Carolina Republican Party convention Friday evening.

Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and former United Nations ambassador under Trump, said, “This is not how justice should be pursued in our country.”

“It’s time to move beyond the endless drama and distractions,” she added in tweet.

While calling the indictment “deeply troubling,” former Vice President Mike Pence told reporters Friday on the campaign trail in New Hampshire that “no one is above the law.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson called on Trump to end his campaign.

“Donald Trump’s actions — from his willful disregard for the Constitution to his disrespect for the rule of law — should not define our nation or the Republican Party,” he said in a statement.

Trump, DeSantis and Pence will all be in North Carolina this weekend to speak at the state Republican Party convention.

There, voters and party leaders have their sights set on 2024.

Barbara Cave is among the republicans still riding with the former president.

“I don’t think anyone has a chance against Trump,” Cave said. “He has done what he said he would do, and we can depend on him.”

Michael Whatley, chair of the state Republican Party, said all candidates have to focus on finding the middle. Party registration is split roughly evenly among Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated.

“The polls that we’ve seen definitely show President Trump with a lead, but we’ve got a lot of baseball to play,” Whatley said.

Voter Michele Woodhouse believes picking someone who can win not just in the primary, but in the general election, will be important.

“I want someone at top of that ballot that can win not only the Republicans, but conservative, unaffiliated and disenfranchised Democrats because we need all of them to come to the table to win,” Woodhouse said.


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