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What Republicans think of Donald Trump's federal indictment

Many voters and Congressional Republicans still support Donald Trump, but former Trump officials say the new indictment is damning.
What Republicans think of Donald Trump's federal indictment
Posted at 8:05 PM, Jun 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-12 22:06:34-04

If the crowd at one Columbus, Georgia, Waffle House is any indication, Donald Trump still has plenty of support. The former president was in the state over the weekend, making a post-indictment appearance at the Georgia GOP convention. 

"The ridiculous and baseless indictment of me by the Biden administration's weaponized Department of Injustice will go down as among the most horrific abuses of power in the history of our country," Trump said.

From Columbus to Congress, Trump loyalists are defending the former president. A CBS News/YouGov poll found just 7% of Republican voters say the indictment changed their view of Trump for the worse. A large majority say it changes nothing. 

On CNN's State of the Union, House Judiciary chair Jim Jordan was pressed on the details of the 37-count indictment, which alleges the former president kept classified documents and refused to give them back. 

JIM JORDAN: If he wants to store material in a box in a bathroom, if he wants to store it in a box on a stage, he can do that. 

CNN'S DANA BASH: He's saying point blank in this audio tape he did not declassify it. It's — what you're saying just doesn't make sense on its face. 

JORDAN: This is what — this what this truly is, Dana. It’s an affront to the rule of law. 

SEE MORE: Trump faces 31 counts of violating the Espionage Act

But former Trump officials, including Trump's former national security advisor and attorney general, have studied the indictment and say it’s devastating. 

"I'm an alumnus of the Department of Justice as an assistant attorney general during the Reagan administration, I know many people there. There are certainly many bad actors as there are in any human institution, but this is not a political attack on Donald Trump," said John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

"If even half of it is true, then he's toast," said William Barr, former United States attorney general. "It's a very detailed indictment and it's very, very damning." 

The 2024 presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson says voters will ultimately decide Donald Trump’s fate.  

"And even though I think he should step aside, he’s not going to," Hutchinson said. "and there’s no constitutional way to make him do that, so we’re going to have an election, but I think it’s important for the voters to take this seriously."


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