By Michelle Griffith, Minnesota Reformer
GOP Reps. Tom Emmer and Pete Stauber on Friday accused President Joe Biden of weaponizing the U.S. Department of Justice against President Donald Trump by indicting him through a grand jury, though they provided no evidence for the allegation.
Emmer, who is the House majority whip and third-ranking House Republican, told Minnesota conservative talk radio host Jon Justice on his show Friday that Trump’s indictment “stinks to high heaven.”
“We’ve got to get back to agreeing to disagree and not using the government against our political adversaries, which is exactly what it appears Joe Biden is doing,” Emmer said.
Late Thursday, a Florida grand jury — not Biden — charged Trump on seven counts. Federal prosecutors Friday afternoon unsealed the indictment against Trump, which charges the former president with mishandling classified documents after leaving office and obstructing the government’s efforts to get the documents back.
“The classified documents Trump stored in his boxes included information regarding defense and weapons capabilities of both the United States and foreign countries; United States nuclear programs; potential vulnerabilities of the United States and its allies to military attack,” the indictment says.
Some of the boxes of classified documents were stored in Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club’s white and gold ballroom, where events and gatherings took place, according to the indictment. The 45-page indictment also states the documents for a time were stacked on the ballroom’s stage.
Stauber, who also appeared on Justice’s radio show Friday, implied federal prosecutors sought the indictment to distract public attention from Republican allegations that Biden was the recipient of bribes as vice president.
“It’s not a coincidence, in my opinion,” Stauber said, referring to the indictment’s timing on the day Biden called the bribery allegations “a bunch of malarkey.”
“As a former law enforcement officer, I believe in our justice system. However, this just reeks of politics,” said Stauber, who represents Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District.
Republicans on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee last month released a report that alleged Biden’s relatives benefited from foreign business transactions during the years Biden served as vice president.
This week, members of the oversight committee reviewed behind closed doors a FBI document on the subject, after which Republicans continued to accuse Biden of bribery and corruption.
Time magazine reported Thursday that according to Democratic U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the Justice Department under Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr investigated the allegation in 2020. It came second-hand from a confidential source in Ukraine. The Barr-led Justice Department found no evidence to back it up, and Barr ended the inquiry.
Stauber on the radio show alleged Biden had advocated for the indictment against Trump.
“It’s just something I don’t think this country would ever have seen where the party in power, in this case the president in power, pushes for and supports an indictment against his rival political opponent,” Stauber said. “This is what happens in third-world countries.”
To avoid a perception of political favoritism, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Jack Smith to be the special counsel to oversee the Trump case. Smith has investigated members of both parties. According to CNN, his “experience ranges from prosecuting a sitting US senator to bringing cases against gang members who were ultimately convicted of murdering New York City police officers. His career spans multiple stints in the Justice Department and international courts.”
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