(Update 1555ET): Top Republicans have rushed to the defense of former President Trump - their current best hope of defeating Joe Biden in a 2024 match-up.
"Recently President Trump went up in the polls and was actually surpassing President Biden for reelection. So what do they do now? Weaponize government to go after their No. 1 opponent," House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told reporters on Tuesday, following Trump's announcement that her would likely be "indicted and arrested" soon over his alleged role in January 6th.
"This is not equal justice. They treat people differently and they go after their adversaries," McCarthy continued.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) also came to Trump's defense, noting that the news comes as the House Oversight Committee is slated to hear testimony from two IRS whistleblowers who alleged that an investigation into Hunter Biden was stonewalled by prosecutors.
"Now you see the Biden administration going after President Trump once again, it begs that question — is there a double standard? Is justice being administered equally?" asked Scalise at the House GOP conference presser.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) also chimed in, saying that the charges are "ridiculous," and that special counsel Jack Smith is "weaponizing" the DOJ against Trump.
"If this is the direction America is going — we are worse than Russia, we are worse than China. We are worse than some of the most corrupt third world countries, and this needs to end," she said, adding "It's an absolute lie."
Greene also called Smith a "weak little bitch" on Twitter.
Jack Smith is a lousy attorney.— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) July 18, 2023
His career is filled with mistrials, overturned cases, and judicial rebukes.
He only targets Republicans because he’s a weak little bitch for the Democrats.
Meanwhile, GOP Reps. Jim Jordan (OH) and Mary Miller (IL) also had words for the Biden administration.
"Joe Biden’s DOJ: Attack the Portland Federal Courthouse? No problem. Intimidate #SCOTUS justices to influence a court decision? No big deal. But if you’re President Trump and do nothing wrong? PROSECUTE. Americans are tired of the double standard!" Jordan tweeted.
Joe Biden’s DOJ:— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) July 18, 2023
Attack the Portland Federal Courthouse? No problem.
Intimidate #SCOTUS justices to influence a court decision? No big deal.
But if you’re President Trump and do nothing wrong? PROSECUTE.
Americans are tired of the double standard!
"The DOJ has become a political agency, targeting Joe Biden’s political opponents while covering up Joe Biden’s crimes. The DOJ is attacking our democracy by actively interfering in the 2024 Election," tweeted Miller.
The DOJ has become a political agency, targeting Joe Biden's political opponents while covering up Joe Biden's crimes. The DOJ is attacking our democracy by actively interfering in the 2024 Election. I will join Chairman Jim Jordan in his effort to stop the partisan hacks at DOJ!— Rep. Mary Miller (@RepMaryMiller) July 18, 2023
* * *
Former President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he expects to be arrested and indicted by special counsel Jack Smith in connection with the January 6th Grand Jury investigation.
"Deranged Jack Smith, the prosecutor with Joe Biden’s DOJ, sent a letter (again, it was Sunday night!) stating that I am a TARGET of the January 6th Grand Jury investigation, and giving me a very short 4 days to report to the Grand Jury, which almost always means an Arrest and Indictment," Trump wrote on Truth Social.
President Biden's DOJ have cast a wide net in their investigation into President Trump, Biden's chief rival in the 2024 US election. Trump is expected to travel to Iowa on Tuesday, where he will tape a town hall with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Prosecutors in Georgia are conducting a separate investigation into efforts by Trump to reverse his election law in that state, with the top prosecutor in Fulton County signaling that she expects to announce charging decisions in the first several weeks since Sunday. -AP
While the charges Smith is considering are unknown, several lawyers - ranging from the House committee that investigated the Jan. 6 riot to outsiders writing "model prosecution memos" (per the NYT) have focused on the 'the attempted corrupt obstruction of an official proceeding' under Section 1512(c) of Title 18, and conspiracy to defraud the government under Section 371 of Title 18.
Charges of obstructing an official proceeding (Congress’s session to count electoral college votes and certify Biden’s victory) have been brought against some Jan. 6 rioters. Charges of defrauding the government could get into broader actions before Jan. 6, like the scheme to have Trump supporters pretend to be alternative slates of official electors from contested states. -NYT
Read Trump's entire message below (emphasis ours):
WOW! On Sunday night, while I was with my family, having just arrived from the Turning Point event in Florida, where I won the Straw Poll against all other Republican candidates with 85.7%, with all polls showing me leading in the Republican Primary by very substantial numbers, almost everyone predicting that I will be the Republican Nominee for President, and as I am leading Democrat Joe Biden in the polls by a lot, HORRIFYING NEWS for our Country was given to me by my attorneys.
Deranged Jack Smith, the prosecutor with Joe Biden's DOJ, sent a letter (again, it was Sunday night!) stating that I am a TARGET of the January 6th Grand Jury investigation, and giving me a very short 4 days to report to the Grand Jury, which almost always means an Arrest and Indictment.
So now, Joe Biden's Attorney General, Merrick Garland, who I turned down for the United States Supreme Court (in retrospect, based on his corrupt and unethical actions, a very wise decision!), together with Joe Biden's Department of Injustice, have effectively issued a third Indictment and Arrest of Joe Biden's NUMBER ONE POLITICAL OPPONENT, who is largely dominating him in the race for the Presidency. Nothing like this has ever happened in our Country before, or even close. They illegally spied on my Campaign, attacked me with a totally Fake "Dossier" that was funded by Hillary Clinton’s Campaign and the DNC, Impeached me twice (I won!), they failed on the Mueller Witch Hunt (No Collusion!), they failed on the Russia, Russia, Russia Hoax, the 51 "Intelligence" Agents fraud, the FBI/Twitter files, the DOJ/Facebook censorship, and every other scam imaginable. But on top of all of that, they have now effectively indicted me three times (the DOJ staffed and runs the D.A.'s Office in Manhattan), with a probable fourth coming from Atlanta, where the DOJ are in strict, and possibly illegal, coordination with the District Attorney, whose record on murder and other violent crime is abysmal. THIS WITCH HUNT IS ALL ABOUT ELECTION INTERFERENCE AND A COMPLETE AND TOTAL POLITICAL WEAPONIZATION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT! It is a very sad and dark period for our Nation!
Under the United States Constitution, I have the right to protest an Election that I am fully convinced was Rigged and Stolen, just as the Democrats have done against me in 2016. and many others have done over the ages. But the Democrats have gone much further than has ever happened before - they cheated on the elections. Rather than looking at the CHEATERS, the WEAPONI2ED DOJ AND FBI target and harass those who complain about the cheaters, and the massive fraud that took place. The prosecutor involved in this case, and likewise the Boxes Hoax, the Manhattan and Atlanta District Attorneys, the New York A.G., etc., has been overturned unanimously in the Supreme Court, headed and caused the Lois Lerner IRS scandal, and failed miserably in his prosecution of John Edwards, where the case was forced to be dropped, along with numerous other catastrophes. He has had a vicious but disastrous career, and is a known biased and obsessed Trump Hater (as is his family). Whether it's their failure to mention the Presidential Records Act (Prosecutorial Misconduct), their dominance of the Manhattan D.A., including the fact that a Hillary Clinton lawyer, Mark Pomerantz, left a top Democrat law firm (run by Chuck Schumer's brother) to join the D.A.'s Office and become a prosecutor against me, and then quit, against all rules, regulations, and laws when the Office would not prosecute (he wrongfully wrote a book while working at the Office and is now under scrutiny!), or a perfect phone call made to many lawyers and a Secretary of State, without any protestation of my call, because nothing that was said was wrong, (it was clearly a complaint about an election), these are all Hoaxes and Scams made up to stop me from fighting for the American People - BUT I WILL NEVER STOP!
This has been a neverending fight from the day I came down the escalator in Trump Tower, many years ago. So interesting that in this case the information was delivered to me on a Sunday night, less than 24 hours after I suggested during a major speech that the Federal Government ASSUME CONTROL of a filthy, unsanitary, neglected, and crimendden Washington. D.C., where murder and violent crime are rampant and people no longer want to go to our Nation's Capital... and yet. that is where Biden's DOJ actually wants my trial to take place, all because they think, especially after my strong words of a Federal takeover at the speech, a D.C jury will do whatever they want. VERY UNFAIR!
As journalist Julie Kelly notes:
Smith knows this case is small potatoes compared to what he's about to inflict on Trump and several associates for January 6. It's very likely Smith will use the "classified docs" prosecution as leverage to seek pretrial detention for Trump when the special counsel indicts Trump for several J6-related offenses, which could include seditious conspiracy.