Republicans Warn Of “Political War”

Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Democrats better be listening.

Republican lawmakers have warned that criminal prosecution of former President Donald Trump could become a political bloodbath, making Attorney General Merrick’s Garland decision on whether or not to act on the expected criminal referral from the Jan. 6 House Committee more challenging.

In last week’s court filing, the House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack previewed the possible route it would take in a referral to the Department of Justice.

The evidence in the filing, according to experts, would be a solid base for prosecutors to act.

However, GOP lawmakers and strategists believe prosecuting Trump could have unintended consequences.
Those warning against the move say if Trump is federally prosecuted, the prosecution will be seen as politically motivated, boosting Trump’s support in the GOP and causing the prosecution to devolve into a partisan battle, something Democrats can’t afford as Biden begins pivoting to the center on his 2020 promise to unite the country.

Republican Senator Mike Braun from Indiana stated his belief that any criminal referral from the Jan. 6 panel “would probably have as much political taint on it as you can get.” He continued saying that, in his view, the decision is “clearly politically driven.”

Braun also stated he believed Democrats would make a recommendation to prosecute Trump to save Biden’s dismal approval ratings, saying the prosecution would be viewed on partisan lines.

The Indiana Republican also said, “at least half the country” would see Trump’s prosecution as “politically motivated.”

Republican Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) also believed the move to pursue criminal prosecution of the former President would devolve into partisan fighting, similar to what was experienced when the Jan. 6 committee was formed.
As a result, Tillis noted that “the Department of Justice has a high bar” to clear before pursuing an investigation or prosecution of the most influential Republican.