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GOP presidential candidate Asa Hutchinson says that members of the Republican Party who claim the Department of Justice has been weaponized against former President Donald Trump should “back off.”
During an appearance on ABC News’s “This Week” with host Jonathan Karl, the former Arkansas governor said arguing that the Justice Department has been unfairly targeting Trump “undermines” law enforcement in the United States, adding that Trump’s promise to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Biden family was the real “weaponization” of the DOJ. Hutchinson also repeated his call for Trump to drop out of the race and urged the Republican party to return to the “rule of law.”
“In terms of the overall charge of weaponization of the Justice Department, look at Donald Trump. He’s already declared that he- if he’s elected president, he’s gonna appoint a special prosecutor to go after the Biden family,” Hutchinson said. “That’s called a weaponization of the Justice Department.”
“And so let’s back off of these accusations, and let’s get back to being the party of the rule of law, of the justice system supporting law enforcement and the equal application of law,” he added. “Let’s don’t undermine the greatest justice system and criminal justice system and rule of law in the world today, this side of heaven.”
Asa Hutchinson calls on his fellow Republicans to “back off” allegations that the DOJ has been "weaponized."
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 18, 2023
In recent years, Republicans have accused the Department of Justice of being weaponized against Republicans, specifically Trump. The indictment in the federal investigation led by special prosecutor Jack Smith, who was appointed by Attorney General Merrick Garland, has ratcheted up those accusations.
House Republicans even created the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government in January to look into “disparate treatment” from the DOJ. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), chairman of the committee, pointed to the DOJ’s actions against President Trump when discussing the founding of the committee.
“Clinton mishandles classified information, Biden mishandles classified information, and they get treated a certain way,” Jordan said. “Then, of course, President Trump gets his home raided 91 days before this midterm election.”
During the interview with Karl, Hutchinson argued that Trump should put the “office of presidency and our country” above himself. Multiple polls show Trump leading the Republican field of candidates, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in second.
“Whenever you’ve got these serious allegations against you, whenever you’ve got the challenge of multiple different investigations during the course of the next year, it’s not fair to the country and certainly it’s not fair to the party that wants to get this country back on track,” Hutchinson said.