Ron DeSantis believes that Donald Trump should have told his supporters more forcefully to stop protesting on January 6, 2021, but said it is wrong to criminalize such inaction.
The Florida governor and 2024 presidential hopeful said the system needs to be adjusted so that opposing sides don’t aim to put the other behind bars.
Trump revealed Tuesday that he received a letter from Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith informing him that he is the target of the investigation into the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill.
“I think it showed how [Trump] he was in the White House and did nothing while things were happening,” DeSantis said during a news conference Tuesday. He should have come out stronger.
He added: “But trying to criminalize that, that’s a whole different issue.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Donald Trump should have responded more “forcefully” on January 6.
It comes after Trump revealed on Truth Social on Tuesday that special counsel Jack Smith sent him a letter informing him that he is a target of the Jan. 6 investigation, meaning an indictment is likely to be filed soon.
“I think we want to be in a situation where you don’t have one side constantly trying to put the other side in jail,” DeSantis said. “And that, unfortunately, is what we’re seeing now.”
There has been repeated criticism of Trump for his inaction on January 6, 2021 when his supporters descended on the US Capitol to protest the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Hardest of all are the critics who claim that Trump incited the riots and is therefore guilty of the actions of his supporters.
The DOJ investigation into January 6 could result in Trump receiving his third indictment.
In a post on his Truth Social account Tuesday, the former president said he was given the letter while dining Sunday night, confirming he is the subject of a criminal investigation into the Capitol riot.
The riot is being investigated along with efforts by Trump and his circle to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Trump said he would “almost certainly” be arrested and charged. The letter gave him four days to respond.
Trump was also offered the opportunity to speak to the grand jury later this week at the federal courthouse in Washington DC.
Special counsel Jack Smith (pictured) already indicted Trump last month with 37 felony counts alleging he illegally kept classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago property.
In the Truth Social post, the former president lashed out at special counsel Jack Smith, calling the investigation “election interference” and accusing President Joe Biden of “going after his number one political opponent.”
Trump still has a commanding lead in the polls over other 2024 Republican candidates, but now he could face three criminal trials coinciding with the campaign season.
DeSantis is the only other candidate besides Trump to have consistently garnered double-digit support in national polls.
The latter could lead to charges of obstructing an official proceeding in connection with the recount of the Congressional Electoral College on January 6, as well as defrauding the government over a ‘fake voters’ scheme.
‘Deranged Jack Smith, Joe Biden’s Justice Department prosecutor, sent a letter (again, it was Sunday night!) stating that I am a TARGET of the Jan. 6 Grand Jury investigation, and gave me 4 days too short to report to the Grand Jury, which almost always means Arrest and Indictment,” Trump wrote in a post on his social media platform.
Smith is leading the Justice Department’s investigation into attempts by Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. He is also leading the investigation into Trump’s handling of classified materials found at Mar-a-Lago after who left office.
Trump receiving a destination letter means that investigators have gathered substantial evidence linking the recipient to the crime. He indicates that an indictment is coming.
Typically, such letters invite the recipient to appear before a grand jury to offer evidence.
The New York Times reports that Trump is expected to decline the invitation to appear.
DeSantis said the system needs to change where one side isn’t always trying to put the other behind bars. Pictured: Rioters descend on the Capitol on January 6, 2021 to protest the results of the 2020 election.
Jared Kushner (left), Trump’s son-in-law who served as a White House adviser, and Rudy Giuliani (right), Trump’s personal attorney, have already spoken with prosecutors.
Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed Smith in November.
Part of his investigation examines testimony and documents related to the fundraiser, Trump’s rally before the January 6, 2021 insurrection, and communications between Trump associates and election officials in battleground states.
Smith subpoenaed local election officials in Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania in December requesting communications with Trump, his 2020 campaign staff and other allies involved in his efforts to try to undo Biden’s victory.
Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who served as a White House adviser, and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, also spoke to prosecutors.