DeSantis: Trump 'Didn't Do Anything' to Stop Capitol Riot

But Florida governor also faults the Justice Department for trying to 'criminalize' that
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2023 3:25 PM CDT
DeSantis: Trump 'Didn't Do Anything' to Stop Capitol Riot
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks Tuesday, July 18, 2023, in West Columbia, S.C.   (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

Ron DeSantis took a shot Tuesday at the behavior of Donald Trump during the Capitol riot, saying the former president deserves criticism for failing to try to stop the violence. "I think it was shown how he was in the White House and didn't do anything while things were going on," the Florida governor told reporters at an event in South Carolina, reports USA Today. "He should have come out more forcefully." However, DeSantis also faulted the Justice Department for trying to make a criminal case of the matter.

"To try to criminalize that, that's a different issue entirely," DeSantis said, per this video at Politico. "We want to be in a situation where you don't have one side just constantly trying to put the other side in jail, and that unfortunately is what we're seeing now." He addressed the issue when asked about Trump's announcement Tuesday morning that he expects to be indicted soon on as-yet unspecified charges related to the riot. Meanwhile, fellow Republicans were coming to Trump's defense, starting with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

"Recently President Trump went up in the polls and was actually surpassing President Biden for reelection," said McCarthy. "So what do they do now? Weaponize government to go after their No. 1 opponent." In collecting the quote, the Hill points out that McCarthy said in the aftermath of the riot that Trump "bears responsibility" for it. The outlet rounds up similar sentiments from others, including House Majority Leader Steve Scalise ("Is justice being administered equally?") and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene ("absolute bulls--t.")

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