House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) came to former President Donald Trump’s defense Thursday after Trump announced the Justice Department had indicted him in a special counsel probe over classified documents.
“Today is indeed a dark day for the United States of America,” McCarthy wrote in a statement on Twitter, calling news of the historic federal indictment “unconscionable” because it was made against the 2024 Republican presidential frontrunner.
The speaker also raised the discovery from earlier this year of documents with classified markings found at President Joe Biden’s office and home from when Biden was vice president, which the Justice Department is also probing through a special counsel.
“Joe Biden kept classified documents for decades,” McCarthy said.
Today is indeed a dark day for the United States of America.
It is unconscionable for a President to indict the leading candidate opposing him. Joe Biden kept classified documents for decades.
I, and every American who believes in the rule of law, stand with President Trump…
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) June 9, 2023
He added that Republicans would investigate the matter, writing, “I, and every American who believes in the rule of law, stand with President Trump against this grave injustice. House Republicans will hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable.”
An investigation into the indictment would be led by the House Judiciary Committee, which has already sent letters to Attorney General Merrick Garland seeking the scopes of the probes into both Trump and Biden on the issue of classified documents.
McCarthy was among several House Republicans, some Senate Republicans, and some of Trump’s fellow GOP presidential contenders to show support for Trump Thursday night.
Many of them, like McCarthy, accused the Justice Department of unfairly “weaponizing” its power against Biden’s political opponent.
Others accused the department of attempting to distract from House Republicans’ probe into the Biden family’s business dealings, which had seen movement Thursday morning when FBI Director Christopher Wray agreed to show members of the Oversight Committee a form that Republicans say implicates Biden in a bribery scandal.
The Justice Department’s prosecution of Trump is being led by special counsel Jack Smith, and while the department has not publicly confirmed any charges, Trump attorney Jim Trusty told CNN that the former president received a summons that listed charges that included a violation of the Espionage Act, obstruction of justice, and destruction or falsification of records, among others.
Trump said in his announcement about the indictment that he was ordered to surrender himself at the federal courthouse in Miami on Tuesday.
Trump has maintained his innocence since the inception of the special counsel investigation in November 2022.
He reiterated Thursday, “I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!”
Watch: Donald Trump Responds to News of Indictment in Classified Docs CaseDonald J. Trump / Truth Social
While these are the first federal charges to be brought against Trump, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg brought local charges against him in March for allegedly falsifying business records, and that trial is set to begin early next year in the heat of the presidential primary.
House Republicans have already issued several demand letters and at least one subpoena over that case as they seek to address what they say is a political and unfair prosecution, and they, per McCarthy, will look to do the same now with Garland in light of this new set of charges.