Leading Senate and House Democrats on Friday called on former President Donald Trump’s “supporters and critics” to allow the federal case against Trump over classified documents to “proceed peacefully in court.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) made their remarks in a joint statement after a judge uncovered the act Special Counsel Jack Smith’s historic indictment against Trump, which revealed 37 criminal charges against him.
“No one is above the law, including Donald Trump,” they wrote. “This indictment must now take place within the framework of the judicial process, without any outside political or ideological interference.”
No one is above the law, including Donald Trump.
This indictment must now take place within the framework of the judicial process, without any external political or ideological interference.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 9, 2023
The New York Democrats added that they “encourage Mr. Trump’s supporters and critics to let this matter play out peacefully in court.”
Trump, the top Republican 2024 presidential candidate, faces 31 charges of willfully withholding national defense information under the Espionage Act, as well as charges of conspiracy to obstruct justice, corruptly concealing a document or record, concealing a document in a federal investigation, and false statements and representations.
The charges primarily relate to documents bearing classified marks that Trump allegedly brought with him and stored at his residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida after leaving office in January 2021.
The former president had publicly warned of the impending indictment in a statement Thursday evening, telling his supporters on Truth Social that he had been notified and ordered to appear in federal court in Miami on Tuesday. at 3 p.m.
The Miami Police Department is now bracing for hordes of media, potential protests and heavy traffic jams surrounding the downtown courthouse that day, the Miami Herald reported.
Trump, for his part, has ardently maintained his innocence in the matter, citing the Presidential Records Act.
“Nobody said I wasn’t allowed to see the personal records I brought with me from the White House. There’s nothing wrong with that. … Under the Records Act presidential elections, I am authorized to do all of this,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
He and several of his Republican allies in Congress also pointed to the scandal involving Hillary Clinton using her personal email when she was Secretary of State to send or receive work emails, a small portion of which included classified information, as a sign of a “two-tier” or “gunned” justice system that favors Democrats.
The FBI investigated Clinton and released a report on its findings in 2016 when she was the Democratic presidential candidate, but the Justice Department never charged her after the FBI discovered she had been “grossly negligent” but not “intentionally” negligent.
Additionally, documents with classified marks have been found over the past year at the home and office of President Joe Biden while he was vice president and senator. The Department of Justice has opened a special investigation into this matter, but the status of the investigation remains unknown.
Jeffries’ counterpart, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), promised to investigate what he called a “double standard” upon learning of the charges against Trump.
“Merrick Garland: The American people elected us to watch over you. We will fulfill that obligation,” McCarthy said.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), a longtime Trump foe, had not commented on the matter Friday night.