Politics - News Analysis

Republicans are Already Saying That They’ll Retaliate if the DOJ Investigates Trump

Because of course.

The GOP is nothing if not predictable. In statements following the release of the Jan 6th Select Committee findings that concluded Donald Trump had committed multiple crimes while trying to overturn the 2020 election, conservative stalwarts in Congress all but warned that prosecuting Trump would lead to retaliation both at the polls and within government.

Senator Mike Braun of Indiana told reporters, “To me, it’s clearly politically driven.” This, despite the fact that even some of his Republican colleagues in Congress agree that Trump went much too far in his attempt to remain president against the will of American voters.

After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blocked House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s picks to serve on the January 6th Committee — Rep Jim Banks and Rep Jim Jordan, both overt and vocal supporters of the former president — senior GOP leaders claimed that the investigation was entirely partisan.

With the White House in the background, President Donald Trump speaks at a rally Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina said that the DOJ had a “high bar” to clear in order to prosecute Trump:

I don’t mind looking into the events but I think that Speaker Pelosi did not do the process justice by the way the members were ultimately seated. It’s going to be perceived as political.”

Everybody is going to perceive the referral as a conviction on one side and they’re going to view it as the continuation of a witch hunt on the other side. The bar that the House committee has is far lower than anything that would ultimately result in moving forward with a federal investigation and a conviction.

The bar really isn’t that high, however. Multiple people told Trump that his pursuits were nonsense, that there was no evidence of election fraud, and that trying to overturn the election would violate laws. Trump’s own Attorney General William Barr has publicly said that he personally told Trump that his theories on how to reverse the results of the election were bogus.

Getty Photo

If Trump knew that he had legitimately lost, then charges of obstructing official congressional proceedings and attempting to defraud the American public would surely stick to the point of conviction.

And that’s what the GOP is desperately trying to avoid.

From The Hill:

Republican strategists close to Trump are predicting a battle royale if the Department of Justice moves to indict the former president.”

“I think it could backfire in a way that they have no clue,” said Republican pollster Jim McLaughlin. “I think it’s going to backfire because it just so political and it’s tainted.

“The country wants to move on. Nobody is proud of what happened on Jan. 6 but people are like, ‘With all the problems we have going on in the country right now, this is going to be the focus of the Democrats?’ ”

And of course, any discussion of prosecuting Trump will require a Republican to bring up HILLARY. It’s almost law now.

“I wonder if they’re ever going to file charges against Hillary Clinton for what she did after 2016,” said Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who would become the chairman of the Permanent Investigations subcommittee of the Senate Homeland Security Committee if the control of the chamber flips.

Ugh, it never stops.

Ford O’Connell, a Republican strategist, said a Trump prosecution “will only make Trump stronger with the GOP primary voters.”

“If your goal is to make sure Donald Trump is the nominee in 2024 for the Republicans, then by all means proceed with this. You’re just going to make him stronger.”

Andrew Simpson
meet the author

Andrew is a dark blue speck in deep red Southwestern Arizona, writing with the conviction of 17 years at the keyboard and too much politics to even stand. When not furiously stabbing the keys on breaking news stories, he writes poetry, prose, essays, haiku, lectures, stories for grief therapy, wedding ceremonies, detailed instructions on making doughnuts from canned biscuit dough (more sugar than cinnamon — duh), and equations to determine the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow. A wife, three kids, and a grandson round out the story, and in his spare time, Andrew loves to think about how nice it would be to have spare time.


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