Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Criticizes Trump’s Response to Capitol Insurrection and Expresses Concerns About Indictment

In a surprising turn of events, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis criticized former President Donald Trump for not taking a stronger stance against the Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021. Speaking at a press conference in South Carolina, DeSantis stated that Trump “should have come out more forcefully” during the riots.[0] This statement came shortly after Trump himself announced that he had received a letter stating that he is the target of a grand jury investigation into the events of that day.[1]

While DeSantis expressed disappointment in Trump’s response to the insurrection, he stopped short of saying that criminal charges against the former president would be justified.[1] He cautioned against the “weaponization” and “politicization” of the FBI and DOJ, emphasizing the need to avoid a situation where one side constantly seeks to put the other in jail.

DeSantis later elaborated on his thoughts during an interview with CNN anchor Jake Tapper, where he expressed concern about the country “criminalizing political differences.”[2] He argued that the focus should be on debating the country’s future and addressing President Joe Biden’s failures.[3]

The news of Trump being a target in the special counsel’s probe into the attempts to overturn the 2020 election and the subsequent Capitol riot has sent shockwaves through the political landscape.[4] Trump, who is still the frontrunner in the GOP primary for the 2024 presidential election, now faces the possibility of being indicted for the third time this year.[4]

DeSantis, who is also vying for the Republican presidential nomination, stated that he hopes Trump does not get charged, as he believes it would not be good for the country.[5] He emphasized the need to focus on looking forward and articulating a positive vision for the future.

However, not everyone shares DeSantis’ sentiments. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie criticized him for “rumormongering” and stated that the country does not benefit from continuing to focus on past events.

DeSantis also took aim at the Department of Justice and the FBI, accusing them of being “weaponized” against those they dislike.[6] He cited the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election as an example, calling it illegitimate and alleging that it was an attempt to drive Trump out of office.[6]

The reactions to the news of Trump’s potential indictment have been divided along partisan lines. Speaker Kevin McCarthy accused the federal government of partisanship and claimed that they are only going after Trump because he is polling well.[2] However, it is worth noting that Trump’s polling numbers show a net negative unfavorability.[7]

As the political landscape continues to shift and evolve, it remains to be seen how Trump’s legal challenges will impact his future ambitions. For now, the focus remains on the possibility of an indictment and the implications it could have for the 2024 presidential race.

0. “DeSantis says Trump should have ‘come out more forcefully’ against Jan. 6 rioters” Miami Herald, 18 Jul. 2023, https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article277424973.html

1. “DeSantis: Trump ‘Didn’t Do Anything’ to Stop Jan. 6” The Daily Beast, 18 Jul. 2023, https://www.thedailybeast.com/ron-desantis-donald-trump-didnt-do-anything-to-stop-jan-6-capitol-riot

2. “DeSantis Chides Special Counsel for Targeting Trump in January 6 Probe: ‘Constantly Trying to Put the Other Side in Jail'” National Review, 18 Jul. 2023, https://www.nationalreview.com/news/desantis-chides-special-counsel-for-targeting-trump-in-january-6-probe-constantly-trying-to-put-the-other-side-in-jail/

3. “Ron DeSantis says Trump January 6 charges would not be good for country” The Guardian US, 18 Jul. 2023, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jul/18/desantis-trump-cnn-interview-jan-6-charges

4. “Trump faces the most serious investigation yet: Will it move the needle?” NBC News, 19 Jul. 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/first-read/trump-faces-serious-investigation-yet-will-move-needle-rcna95067

5. “Donald Trump’s legal issues dominated Ron Desantis’ CNN interview” BOL News, 19 Jul. 2023, https://www.bolnews.com/international/2023/07/donald-trumps-legal-issues-dominated-ron-desantis-interview

6. “DeSantis suggests indicting Donald Trump for Jan 6 would be ‘criminalising political differences’” The Independent, 18 Jul. 2023, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/desantis-donald-trump-cnn-interview-b2377654.html

7. “Another Stupid Flip-Flop from Sinking Ship DeSantis” The New Republic, 18 Jul. 2023, https://newrepublic.com/post/174412/team-desantis-trips-tell-trump-its-not-criticizing-january-6

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