37 Criminal Charges: Will the GOP Abandon Trump? 2023

On Thursday, Trump and his allies denounced special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment. Trump claimed in a video, “I am innocent.” “I am not a crook,” he said, sounding like Nixon. No, cancel that—it’s unjust to the crook: Nixon’s assertion of innocence, in words and body language, was Churchillian compared to Trump’s.

Most leading Republicans remained mute in 1974 after realizing Nixon’s fate. After two years of Watergate revelations, few prominent GOP lawmakers were willing to defend a crook.

In 2023, GOP leaders condemned the process as a politically orchestrated show trial before the indictment or evidence were revealed. On Thursday evening, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy called the indictments a “brazen weaponization of power” and a “dark day” for the US.

Top Republicans may eventually ditch the ex-president, whom they never liked.

“Unconscionable,” he said. “Sham,” said majority leader Steve Scalise. Ron DeSantis, who must privately enjoy Trump’s misfortunes, felt forced to indicate a “weaponization of federal law enforcement.” Vivek Ramaswamy, another long-shot presidential candidate, promised to pardon Trump on day one if elected.

Famous political philosopher Elon Musk commented on the “differential enforcement” against the previous president. Other Trump apologists chimed in. “Sad day for America,” said Jim Jordan. It was a “hoax” for provocateur Matt Gaetz.

Smith’s office allowed frequent remarks. Commentators asked why they remained mute while Trump and his associates set the narrative for 16 hours. Another shoe dropped. What a shoe. A lug sole Doc Martens might hurt just by looking at them.

Smith released the 49-page indictment early Friday afternoon, East Coast time. It detailed the careless storage of top-secret papers, many of which related to nuclear weapons, military attack plans, or US strategic weaknesses, at Mar-a-Lago—some were even stacked in a shower. It detailed Trump’s months-long deception to avoid returning these records. It detailed his federal investigator lies.

Trump, like Pentagon documents leaker Jack Teixeira, showed off in the indictment. He showed non-security-cleared persons sensitive material like a toddler.

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