HomePoliticsTrump's GOP allies vent about Hunter Biden after latest special counsel indictment

Trump’s GOP allies vent about Hunter Biden after latest special counsel indictment

Former President Donald Trump‘s Republican allies in Congress rushed to his defense following his latest criminal indictment, this time accusing the Biden administration of timing the release to divert attention from damaging news about the current president and his son.

Special counsel Jack Smith’s second indictment against Trump alleges he unlawfully tried to overturn his election loss to President Joe Biden in the 2020 election. The indictment, returned by a federal grand jury on Tuesday afternoon, charges Trump with conspiring to defraud the United States and impede the certification of the election results.

One day earlier, a former business partner of Hunter Biden testified that the younger Biden put his father on the phone during business meetings about 20 times, according to U.S. House members.

But that ex-associate, Devon Archer, told the House Oversight Committee in closed-door testimony that the Bidens “never once spoke about any business dealings” during those calls, Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., told reporters.

“As he described it, it was all casual conversation, niceties, the weather, what’s going on. There wasn’t a single conversation about any of the business dealings that Hunter had,” Goldman said of Archer’s testimony.

Numerous GOP lawmakers and other supporters of Trump were quick to link the timing of Archer’s testimony to Smith’s indictment.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., asserted Tuesday night that the Department of Justice’s charges amounted to an “attempt to distract from the news and attack the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.”

“Everyone in America could see what was going to come next,” McCarthy said in a social media post that also referenced Hunter Biden’s recent plea hearing on federal tax charges.

That expected plea agreement fell apart in court after the presiding judge grilled the government’s lawyers about how the deal related to a separate gun charge against Biden. The president’s son pleaded not guilty pending the approval of a revised plea deal.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., accused the Justice Department of “cutting sweetheart deals for Hunter” while simultaneously “trying to persecute his leading political opponent.”

House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik of New York claimed Tuesday that Trump’s third indictment was “yet another desperate attempt to distract attention away from the mounting evidence of Joe Biden’s direct involvement in his family’s illegal influence peddling scheme.”

Democrats and the White House strongly reject Republicans’ allegations of wrongdoing by the president.

White House spokesman Ian Sams posted that Archer “appears to have actually testified that President Biden wasn’t involved and didn’t discuss their business dealings. Yet the House Republicans – all the way up to the Speaker himself – have decided to just lie their way through it.”

A Washington Post analysis published Tuesday, meanwhile, found that “to date, there has been no evidence tying Joe Biden to Hunter Biden’s work in any concrete way.”

As they did following his first federal indictment in June, Trump’s defenders attacked Smith and questioned his credibility.

“Jack Smith is a terrible attorney with a lot of failures in his career. Now, he’s abusing his power, the power of the special counsel, and the power of the Department of Injustice,” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., wrote on social media.

“Jack Smith is a rogue prosecutor with an axe to grind [against] President Trump,” posted Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla.

Attorney General Merrick Garland, who appointed the special counsel in November with the aim of maintaining independence in multiple Trump-centered criminal probes, said Tuesday that Smith and his “principled” team “have followed the facts and the law wherever they lead.”

Other supporters of the former president, including his defense lawyer in the case, have accused the DOJ of trying to criminalize the former president’s free speech right to question the 2020 election results.

“This potentially criminalizes many kinds of actions and statements by a President that a prosecutor deems to be false,” The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote. “You don’t have to be a defender of Donald Trump to worry about where this will lead.”

Smith’s 45-page indictment acknowledges that Trump was legally allowed to air his false claims of election fraud and even challenge the results through lawful means.

But Trump “also pursued unlawful means of discounting legitimate votes and subverting the election results,” prosecutors alleged.

Trump was already facing criminal charges in two separate cases. He has pleaded not guilty to Manhattan prosecutors’ charges of falsifying business records, as well as to federal charges related to his retention of classified records after leaving the presidency in 2021.

Trump has been summoned to appear in federal court in Washington, D.C., on Thursday afternoon, the DOJ said.

As Trump’s legal peril mounts, so does his standing in polls of the 2024 Republican presidential primary race.

“Thank you to everyone!!!” Trump said in an all-caps post on Truth Social on Wednesday morning. “I have never had so much support on anything before.”

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