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Republicans come to Trump’s defence after he receives ‘target letter’

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US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks to the media during a briefing in National Statuary Hall at the Capitol on July 17, 2023, in Washington, DC. — AFP
US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks to the media during a briefing in National Statuary Hall at the Capitol on July 17, 2023, in Washington, DC. — AFP 

As Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he had received a “target letter” from special counsel Jack Smith, Congressional Republicans did not hold back to defend the former US president.

The letter informed Trump that he is a target of a federal probe into efforts to prevent the transfer of power after the 2020 presidential election was severely criticised by GOP House leaders.

They asserted repeated claims addressing the probes involving Trump led by Jack Smith claiming that the Justice Department is conducting politically motivated investigations in an effort to harm the former president, who is leading the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy address the letter as something one could “expect” in “Biden’s America”.

“I guess under a Biden administration, Biden’s America, you’d expect this,” McCarthy told reporters. “If you notice, recently President Trump went up in the polls and was actually surpassing President Biden for reelection. So what do they do now? Weaponise government, go after their number one opponent. It’s time and time again.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Elise Stefanik, the third-ranking House Republican, set the recent development as “another example of Joe Biden’s weaponized Department of Justice targeting his top political opponent, Donald Trump.”

According to CBS, one of Trump’s most vocal defenders in Congress, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, took a bolder approach addressing the so-called target letter “absolute bulls***.”

“This is the only way that the Democrats have to beat President Trump, is to arrest him, smear him, charge him with ridiculous charges,” the congresswoman said.

Trump said in a post on his social media network Truth Social that he received a letter on Sunday informing him that he is a “criminal target” in an investigation by a federal grand jury regarding attempts to overturn the 2020 election and revealed that the grand jury gave him four days’ notice to attend.

However, in Smith’s inquiry, he has not been charged, and it is unknown exactly what offences he would be accused of. 

Smith, who was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland in November, has been investigating attempts to refrain from the peaceful transfer of power or the certification of the Electoral College vote on January 6, 2021, when a mob of Trump’s supporters invaded the US Capitol in an effort to stop Congress from reaffirming Biden’s victory.

Additionally, Trump has been involved in another investigation as he was indicted last month on charges that originated from Smith’s probe into his handling of classified government documents and faces 37 felony counts. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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