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FACT SHEET: MAGA Republicans Are Defending Trump At All Costs

Jun 13, 2023

In the midst of former President Donald Trump’s second indictment, House Republicans are working to defend him at all costs. They are following the same playbook they used during Trump’s first Manhattan indictment back in March. Immediately following the indictment announcement, MAGA Republicans began calling for an investigation into the special counsel assigned to Trump’s case and threatening to defund the Department of Justice — just as they did during his first indictment in Manhattan. During Trump’s arrest hearing, a group of far-right extremists held a press conference packed with election deniers who worked to undermine and overturn the 2020 election results in an effort to attack the DOJ. MAGA House Republicans are going out of their way to intervene in federal proceedings, continuing a pattern of defending Trump at all costs against legitimate investigations.

Republicans Claim They Are Working To “Investigate The Investigators” By Probing The Special Counsel Overseeing Trump’s Case. Shortly after Trump’s indictment, Jordan sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland demanding sensitive information about the prosecution, including a sensitive memo detailing special counsel Jack Smith’s appointment months ago. Days later, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) sent another letter to Garland demanding the public release of a full list of the special counsel’s staff, including “phone lists, or similar records.”

MAGA Republicans Are Calling To Defund Federal Law Enforcement. In the wake of Trump’s federal indictment, MAGA Republicans are repeating earlier calls to defund federal law enforcement agencies like the Justice Department: 

  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA): “This morning, I’m writing an appropriations rider to DEFUND Special Counsel Jack Smith’s office and entire investigation. I will not vote for ANY appropriations bill to fund the weaponization of government. I hope every one of my Republican colleagues will join me.” [Twitter, 6/12/23]
  • Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN): “We need to bring them down before the committee and if not they need to- at some point we need to talk about cutting their funding…this group is out of control, they’re rogue.” [Newsmax, 6/12/23, VIDEO]
  • Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ): “We ought to defund and dismantle the DOJ. I stand with President Trump. [Twitter, 6/8/23]

Far-Right House Republicans Hosted A Press Conference About January 6th During Trump’s Arrest Hearing, Decrying The DOJ. At the exact same time as Trump’s scheduled federal arraignment and  arrest on 37 felony counts, a group of far-right House Republicans including Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Ralph Norman (R-VA) hosted a press conference described as a “field hearing” at the Capitol attacking the DOJ for prosecuting January 6th defendants.

  • Numerous MAGA Republicans Who Led The Press Conference Were Election Deniers Who Played A Key Role In Efforts To Undermine The 2020 Election. Many House Republicans have been calling the indictment a form of “election interference” — even though the very same Republicans leading this press conference were key in efforts to undermine the 2020 election: “the December 21 meeting was part of an effort to “disseminate his false claims and to encourage members of the public to fight the outcome on January 6.” […] Six of the attendees of the December 21, 2020, meeting — Biggs, Brooks, Gaetz, Gohmert, Greene, and Perry — sought pardons [from Trump in the final days of his administration].”
  • The MAGA “Hearing” Featured Jeff Clark, Who Schemed With Trump To Overturn The 2020 Election. The MAGA press conference featured Jeff Clark, an extreme election-denying witness who schemed with Trump to encourage state legislatures to overturn the 2020 election results. Last year, federal law enforcement authorities searched Clark’s home and seized his electronic devices as part of a criminal investigation into possible violations of laws related to false statements, conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

Far-Right Senator J.D. Vance (R-OH) Is Threatening To Hold All Future DOJ Nominees In Retaliation For Trump’s Indictment and Arrest. Just minutes after Trump was officially arrested by federal law enforcement officials, Vance released a video announcing plans to place on hold all Biden administration nominees for the Justice Department: “If Merrick Garland wants to use these officials to harass Joe Biden’s political opponents, we will grind his department to a halt.”

House Republicans Intervened In Trump’s First Indictment In Manhattan Just A Few Months Ago. MAGA Republicans are only continuing a pattern of defending Trump at all costs against legitimate investigations. In late March 2023, former President Trump was indicted on felony tax charges by the Manhattan district attorney. Shortly after, Jim Jordan sent two letters demanding information about the charges and later held a partisan stunt field hearing attacking the prosecutor. Meanwhile, other Republicans pushed for a full investigation of the Manhattan district attorney’s office while Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) introduced legislation prohibiting state and local law enforcement agencies from using certain federal funds or property seized through asset forfeiture to investigate Presidential or Vice Presidential candidates.