Ron DeSantis urged to condemn expected Trump indictment: Donald Trump may have been trashing Ron DeSantis, his possible future political opponent, for the last several months. But the former president’s allies are urging DeSantis to speak out against Trump’s possible arrest or even somehow intervene in it.
Ron DeSantis Has New Donald Trump Problems
For most of that time, Trump has been regularly slamming DeSantis, and a big part of that has been accusing the Florida governor of disloyalty.
DeSantis was endorsed by Trump for governor in 2018, the thinking goes, and therefore DeSantis should owe it to Trump not to challenge him for the presidency now.
Ron DeSantis, who has not yet declared his candidacy, has mostly held his fire and not answered Trump’s attacks.
According to the New York Times, Trump’s team is “trying to use the news of his expected indictment by a Manhattan grand jury to turn the strident base of the Republican Party against his expected rival for the 2024 presidential nomination.”
Trump allies are demanding that DeSantis “condemn the law enforcement officials in New York” who are reportedly working to indict Trump.
“It has been over 24 hours and some people are still quiet. History will judge their silence,” the “Trump War Room” Twitter account posted this week, in what was interpreted as a shot at DeSantis specifically.
Some online talk has gone even further, urging DeSantis to use his powers as governor to prevent the extradition of Trump, who lives in Florida, to New York to face the charges.
That idea appears a non-starter, especially because Trump is running for president and would have to leave the state of Florida at some point.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office, following an investigation of Trump that has gone on for more than five years, is expected to indict Trump on charges related to his payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels. It’s not known what the exact charges would be, but it may very well involve campaign finance violations or falsification of business records.
What’s being asked here is somewhat extraordinary. One candidate is being asked to speak up on behalf of his likely direct opponent for the presidency, someone who has been trashing him for months and specifically accusing him of disloyalty. And furthermore, DeSantis is being asked to make this statement before the indictment has even been handed down, and take it on faith that the charges aren’t fair and Trump is self-evidently innocent.
Some in GOP Back Trump
Some Republicans have been defending Trump ahead of the possible indictment, including those who aren’t necessarily his allies.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is said to be considering his own presidential bid, called the Manhattan action a “politically-charged prosecution,” while New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, also a frequent Trump critic and possible 2024 candidate, said on TV this weekend that “I just think that not just the media, but really, a lot of the Democrats have misplayed this in terms of building sympathy for the former president.”
Vivek Ramaswamy, who is running a long-shot bid for president on the Republican side, called for other candidates to speak out.
“I called on my fellow GOP candidates @RonDeSantisFL and @NikkiHaley to join me in condemning the potential Trump indictment because those of us *running against Trump* can most credibly call on the Manhattan DA to abandon this disastrously politicized prosecution,” Ramaswamy tweeted, mistakenly referring to DeSantis as a declared candidate.
With other grand juries investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the election result in Georgia, as well as his role in January 6 and the Mar-a-Lago documents case, expect this dynamic to repeat itself over the course of the primary contest.
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Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.