Donald Trump arraignment: Republicans and MAGA world dish out big reactions

Washington DC - The criminal charges brought against Donald Trump for his alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results have left Republicans and the MAGA world in a frenzy.

As Donald Trump stands trial for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, his Republican allies, like (from l. to r.) Kevin McCarthy, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Jim Jordan, are scrambling to defend him.
As Donald Trump stands trial for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, his Republican allies, like (from l. to r.) Kevin McCarthy, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Jim Jordan, are scrambling to defend him.  © Collage: TIMOTHY A. CLARY, Jim WATSON / AFP & ALEX WONG, Samuel Corum / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Following Trump's arraignment on Thursday, his fans and allies have been scrambling to find a good defense for the charges against the former president, throwing everything they can at the wall in hopes that something will stick.

So far, three contentions have become the leading narrative among the far-right: every legal case Trump faces is solely politically motivated, he was exercising his right to free speech by questioning the election results, and "whatabout-isms" that point at the wrong doings of Democrats, most notably Joe Biden.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy argued that "it seems as though every time Trump goes higher in the polls, he gets a new indictment," adding his charges have also come the day after reports of the Biden family's "real dealings."

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McCarthy went on to falsely compare Trump's response to losing to losses endured by Hillary Clinton and Al Gore, claiming that Trump is being prosecuted for "his thoughts."

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan shared similar sentiments in an interview with Fox News, arguing that Americans are "sick of this non-stop attack" against Trump, which Jordan said has only "hardened" support for him.

Georgia Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene pushed the narrative that the Department of Justice has gone "full COMMUNIST," and attacks against Trump are "an attack on every American who stands in the way of a complete Communist Democrat takeover of our country."

Perhaps the most extreme take came from Kari Lake, the Arizona politician who lost her run for governor, yet refuses to let her claims of election fraud go.

In an interview with Steve Bannon, she claimed to have "all of the evidence" to prove the 2020 election was rigged, and called on her fellow politicians to decertify the results and reinstate Trump into the White House.

Republican presidential candidates weigh in on Trump's arraignment

Donald Trump, who is leading in the Republican primaries, is now facing three criminal cases that may threaten his campaign efforts.
Donald Trump, who is leading in the Republican primaries, is now facing three criminal cases that may threaten his campaign efforts.  © OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP

Other Republicans facing Trump in the presidential race have been more torn on how to handle the situation. Criticizing Trump even slightly is seen by many as campaign suicide, as MAGA fans remain the majority of the Republican base.

On Tuesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is seen as Trump's biggest rival in the Republican primaries, vowed to "end the weaponization of government, replace the FBI Director, and ensure a single standard of justice for all Americans" if he becomes president.

He also admitted that he did not read the indictment, and has been noticeably quiet following Trump's arraignment.

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On the same day of the arraignment, the campaign for Mike Pence, who served as Trump's vice president, began selling merch that says "Too Honest" - a reference to Trump allegedly telling Pence he was "too honest" for refusing to return or reject votes from the 2020 presidential elections.

Presidential hopeful Will Hurd, who was booed for criticizing Trump during a recent event, stuck to his anti-Trump message, telling CNN that he was "pissed" about the arraignment, which he described as "outrageous."

"Let's not get afraid about this lead that he has right now," Hurd said of Trump's high poll numbers. "It's only a snapshot in time, and for those of us that are sick and tired and angry that Donald Trump is running for president in order to stay out of jail, let's do something about it. It's within our hands."

Surprisingly, Tim Scott and Nikki Haley have both remained quiet on the arraignment, but have voiced their opposition to the indictment. Chris Christie has been keeping busy, as he is currently in Ukraine to meet President Vladimir Zelensky.

Cover photo: Collage: TIMOTHY A. CLARY, Jim WATSON / AFP & ALEX WONG, Samuel Corum / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

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