Ron DeSantis Rails Against DOJ for Indicting His Political Opponent: ‘Weaponizing the Power of the State’


Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis protested the indictment of his rival, former President Donald Trump, during a speech on Friday.

The Department of Justice on Friday unsealed an indictment with 37 criminal counts related to his handling of classified documents following his departure from the White House.

According to the indictment, Trump stored in boxes of classified documents that “included information regarding defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign counties; United States nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack; and plans for possible retaliation in response to foreign attack.”

Speaking at the North Carolina Republican Party convention in the wake of news of Trump’s indictment, DeSantis said:

Our Founding Fathers would have absolutely predicted the weaponization that we’ve seen with these agencies, particularly Justice and FBI, because when you don’t have constitutional accountability, human nature is such that they will abuse their power, and that’s what’s happened. Nobody has held them accountable.

DeSantis has had a tense and bitter rivalry with Trump – his former ally – since it became clear the governor would challenge him for the Republican nomination. He then compared Trump’s case to the controversy surrounding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails.

“When I was in Congress, I remember, you know, Hillary had the emails that were classified and my view was, ‘well gee, you know, as a naval officer if I would have taken classified to my apartment I would have been court-martialed in a New York minute.’ And yet they seem to not care about that,” he said, adding:

Is there a different standard for a Democrat Secretary of State versus a former Republican president? I think there needs to be one standard of justice in this country. Let’s enforce it on everybody and make sure we all know the rules. You can’t have one faction of society weaponizing the powers of the state against factions that it doesn’t like, and that’s what we’ve seen.

And here’s the thing, there is obviously very high profile examples, but there’s examples of ordinary people who may not get the same headlines. A pro-life advocate may have twenty FBI agents storming their house at six o’clock in the morning. You may have parents going to a school board meeting in Virginia that are being surveilled by the FBI. So the weaponization of these agencies strikes at the heart of what it means to have a free society, and it’s not just affecting people at the top, it’s affecting people all throughout our country.

DeSantis initially reacted to news of Trump’s indictment in a statement on Thursday evening.

“The weaponization of federal law enforcement represents a mortal threat to a free society,” he wrote in a Twitter post. “We have for years witnessed an uneven application of the law depending upon political affiliation.”

DeSantis questioned why the state was “so zealous in pursuing Trump yet so passive about Hillary or Hunter?” and vowed that his administration would “bring accountability to the DOJ, excise political bias and end weaponization once and for all.”

Watch above via C-SPAN.

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