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Republicans Defend Trump By Attacking Criminal Justice System

Many Republicans have responded to Donald Trump's Tuesday arraignment by characterizing the criminal justice system as corrupt, Reuters reports. Trump and his allies in the Senate and House have used rhetoric that echoed his false claims of widespread election fraud in the build-up to the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol. Critics warn that the partisan rhetoric could shake public trust in courts by undermining the institutional legitimacy of the criminal justice system. "Trump's indictment is the culmination of 6 years of the Democrats weaponizing law enforcement to target and persecute their political enemies. Dictatorships operate like this – the U.S. is supposed to be different," tweeted Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) Trump says he is innocent of the expected charges revolving around hush money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential campaign.

"Political leaders ought to stand up for the American system of government," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Cal.) a member of the House Judiciary Committee. "Undercutting the system of government is a serious matter and a threat to our future,." Republicans have trained their invective on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, accusing him of mounting a politically motivated investigation aimed at preventing Trump from being re-elected in 2024. The Republican-controlled House has launched a probe of Bragg's grand jury investigation, seeking documents and testimony. Democrats question whether Congress has the authority to investigate a state-level investigation. Bragg, a Democrat, warned Republican Reps. Jim Jordan, James Comer and Bryan Steil, who are leading the probe, against attacking the criminal justice system. "You and many of your colleagues have chosen to collaborate with Mr. Trump's efforts to vilify and denigrate the integrity of elected state prosecutors and trial judges," the Manhattan prosecutor wrote. Nicole Hemmer of the Rogers Center for the American Presidency at Vanderbilt University warned that Republican attacks on the U.S. criminal justice system could ultimately have dire consequences for courts and juries.


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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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