Michigan Republicans defend former President Trump amid indictment
Republicans in Michigan and across the country are defending former President Trump ahead of his expected arrest today, saying the charges against him are politically motivated.
Driving the news: A grand jury in Manhattan indicted Trump last week on charges related to a 2016 illegal hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.
What they're saying: Michigan GOP chairperson Kristina Karamo, U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Zeeland), Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Tipton), and state Rep. Matt Maddock (R-Milford) are among a vocal group of Republicans accusing Manhattan prosecutor Alvin Bragg, a Democrat who brought the historic charges, of weaponizing his office for political purposes.
- "Our government is increasingly being weaponized against citizens. Today it will be President Trump, tomorrow it will be you," Karamo tweeted.
- Michigan businessman Perry Johnson, who recently announced his own bid for president, released an ad last week asking President Joe Biden to pardon Trump and urging other presidential candidates to support a pardon.
Zoom in: State Rep. Steve Carra (R-Three Rivers) tells Axios he isn't aware of any pro-Trump rallies happening across the state today — but that "doesn't mean they aren’t happening, however."
- Carra, a member of the Michigan House Freedom Caucus, says "we should explore Joe Biden's comment about sending his kids to school at a 'racial jungle' if we are going to keep opening up the past," when asked to comment on how the charges could affect the president's chances in 2024.
Between the lines: "It's great for Trump and his pursuit of the Republican nomination and probably dooms Republicans in November, but lots of things need to happen over the next year for him to get the nomination," says Republican strategist Jason Roe, a former MIGOP executive director.
Zoom out: While 18 Michigan Republican state legislators are throwing their support behind Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, more than a third of the GOP members on Judiciary and Oversight, two committees being pushed to investigate President Biden and Bragg, have already endorsed Trump for president in 2024.
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