Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called on Congress to beef up federal law enforcement on Tuesday after the FBI’s raid of Donald Trump and the former president’s unprecedented arraignment.
In his first remarks related to the weaponization of the Justice Department following Trump’s indictment last month, McConnell told NBC News that lawmakers “ought to be looking for ways to spend more on law enforcement.”
“I think I can pretty safely say that I’ve not met any Republicans in Congress who want to spend less on law enforcement,” the GOP Senate leader reportedly said.
The comment stands in stark contrast to how lawmakers, including even some of the former president’s biggest rivals, reacted to the partisan charges brought against Trump by the Manhattan district attorney. Trump pled not guilty to a 34-count felony indictment carrying a maximum 136-year prison sentence over 2016 hush-money payments to porn actress Stormy Daniels.
Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, who was the only Republican in the upper chamber to support Trump’s impeachment twice, condemned the indictment as an “overreach” that “sets a dangerous precedent for criminalizing political opponents.”
“I believe President Trump’s character and conduct make him unfit for office,” Romney said. “Even so, I believe the New York prosecutor has stretched to reach felony criminal charges in order to fit a political agenda.”
While Trump’s charges came from a local prosecutor in Manhattan, the D.A.’s office admitted to House Republicans that federal tax dollars were used for its investigation. Trump remains under separate Justice Department investigations over the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot and his handling of classified documents after his White House departure.
The criminal conviction of former President Trump has remained the top item on the Democrats’ policy agenda for eight years. The Department of Justice is their primary vehicle, run by ideologues who have weaponized the federal government to crack down on political opponents. Decades of agency misconduct led House Republicans to convene a Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government under the Judiciary Committee chaired by Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan.
Within moments of the news that Trump’s indictment was imminent, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy demanded that Republican committees investigate the former president’s prosecution. Republicans’ leader in the Senate, however, remained mute on the topic until Tuesday in what has now become an episode of routine betrayal from the Kentucky lawmaker. McConnell also recently parroted the Democrats’ propaganda related to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot when he blasted Fox News for conducting journalism related to the demonstrations.
In March, Fox News prime-time host Tucker Carlson presented his team’s findings after a weeks-long review of more than 40,000 hours of Capitol surveillance footage to which McCarthy gave him access. The Jan. 6 tapes undermined the left’s narratives about the riot being a “deadly insurrection.”
In that news cycle, McConnell wasn’t silent. McConnell stood before reporters on Captiol Hill the day after the first installment of the tapes aired to condemn Fox News.
“With regard to the presentation on Fox News last night, I want to associate myself entirely with the opinion of the chief of the Capitol Police about what happened on Jan. 6,” McConnell said.
Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger had sent a memo to his department hours earlier that lambasted Carlson’s coverage as “filled with offensive and misleading conclusions.”