DeSantis’ Comments on Trump’s Indictment and DOJ Weaponization Spark Controversy in 2024 Presidential Race

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been making headlines recently for his comments regarding the indictment of former President Donald Trump on charges related to the mishandling of classified documents.[0] DeSantis has criticized the Department of Justice (DOJ) for what he sees as the weaponization of federal law enforcement and political bias in targeting Republicans like Trump.[1] In a speech at a Republican Party convention in North Carolina, DeSantis asked if there was a different standard for a Democratic Secretary of State, referring to Hillary Clinton, and a former Republican President.[2] He argued that there needs to be one standard of justice in the country and that the rules should be enforced on everybody.[3]

DeSantis also promised to fire FBI chief Christopher Wray if elected president and suggested that if Trump had been charged with crimes, then Clinton should have also faced charges.[4] DeSantis has been careful to walk a delicate line as he challenges Trump for the Republican party’s 2024 presidential nomination, as he is wary of alienating the former president’s base.[2]

However, DeSantis’ comments have been met with criticism from some who argue that he is not modeling good behavior himself and that he is flouting his own injunction against one faction of society weaponizing the power of the state against factions that it doesn’t like. Others have pointed out that if DeSantis were to become president and send the DOJ after DEI programs, it would effectively turn the department’s Civil Rights Division on its head. The division typically focuses on protecting voting rights, preventing housing inequality, and investigating potential hate crimes.[5]

DeSantis apparently aims to achieve a rebalancing toward a more overtly revanchist DOJ in part by dismantling the Civil Rights Division, a relatively progressive element of federal law enforcement that has imposed consent decrees on racist and discriminatory police departments throughout the nation. The authority was eliminated by former President Donald Trump during his time in office.[6]

Meanwhile, other 2024 presidential hopefuls have taken different stances on the issue of pardoning Trump. Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has led the charge among candidates for Trump to be pardoned, saying he would pardon Trump if elected and calling on every other candidate to commit to pardoning Trump or explain why they wouldn’t.[7] Conservative talk show host Larry Elder has said he would be “very likely” to pardon Trump if his long-shot candidacy succeeds.[7]

In conclusion, DeSantis’ comments regarding the indictment of former President Donald Trump and the DOJ’s alleged weaponization of federal law enforcement have stirred up controversy and debate among politicians and the public alike. While some argue that there needs to be one standard of justice in the country and that the rules should be enforced on everybody, others are concerned that DeSantis’ proposed changes to the DOJ might have negative consequences for marginalized communities. As the 2024 presidential race heats up, it remains to be seen how candidates will address these issues and where they will stand on the question of pardoning Trump.

0. “DeSantis privately strategizes to ‘break up’ federal agencies, end weaponization” Florida’s Voice, 13 Jun. 2023,

1. “DeSantis maintains low profile in Tallahassee as Trump faces high-profile day in court” Brunswick News, 13 Jun. 2023,

2. “Ron DeSantis: ‘I would’ve been court-martialed for taking classified documents'” The Telegraph, 10 Jun. 2023,

3. “Donald Trump unmoved by Ron DeSantis’ support amid latest indictment” Florida Politics, 12 Jun. 2023,

4. “DeSantis will FIRE FBI chief Christoper Wray if elected President slams DoJ for indicting Trump” msnNOW, 10 Jun. 2023,

5. “DeSantis wants to target DEI efforts as president” MSNBC, 15 Jun. 2023,

6. “DeSantis’ brain trust to weaponize DOJ includes torture memo lawyer and a pundit who recently blamed Black men for …” Media Matters for America, 14 Jun. 2023,

7. “Could Trump Be Pardoned? Some 2024 Rivals Open To It—But Still Unclear If He Can Pardon Himself” Forbes, 14 Jun. 2023,

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