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Rep. Tom Emmer says Trump's fed indictment is "ultimate abuse of power"

Inside the federal Trump indictment
Breaking down Trump's innocence claims, seriousness of charges, court venue security 15:12

MINNEAPOLIS -- Rep. Tom Emmer, the Republican House Majority Whip, has taken to Twitter to speak out against the federal indictment of former President Donald Trump.

Trump was indicted Thursday on charges stemming from the federal investigation into his handling of sensitive government documents after he left the White House.

In three posts to his account on Truth Social, Trump said attorneys with the Justice Department informed him he was indicted over the "boxes hoax" and he has been called to appear at the federal courthouse in Miami on Tuesday.

"I never thought it possible that such a thing could happen to a former President of the United States, who received far more votes than any sitting President in the History of our Country, and is currently leading, by far, all Candidates, both Democrat and Republican, in Polls of the 2024 Presidential Election," he posted. "I AM AN INNOCENT MAN!"

A couple of the 2024 GOP hopefuls responded to news of the indictment Thursday night. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, noting in a statement that this is Tump's second indictment, said "his willful disregard for the Constitution to his disrespect for the rule of law—should not define our nation or the Republican Party." He suggested the criminal proceedings would be "a major distraction," and called on Trump "to respect the office and end his campaign."

Meanwhile, Emmer claimed on Twitter that Trump was being punished for allegedly doing what, Emmer claimed, Biden had also allegedly done.

"Democrats have always been eager to execute their political witch hunt against Donald Trump. Nothing proves it more than a sitting administration indicting him over the same thing Joe Biden has done," Emmer tweeted. "This is the ultimate abuse of power, and they will be held accountable."

The exact nature of the charges, the first to arise from special counsel Jack Smith's investigations, was not immediately clear. But three sources familiar with the case said the former president has been charged in a seven-count indictment involving the retention of national defense information, conspiracy and obstruction.

Trump is also facing 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in New York state court, and a trial in that case is set to begin on March 25, 2024, in the thick of the presidential campaign. He pleaded not guilty to the charges brought by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

The Republican field for the 2024 elections grew substantially this week, with a number of Republicans joining or hinting about joining the race. Former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum all launched their campaigns this week. 

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