House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is being criticized for his statement in the wake of the announcement of a federal indictment of former President Donald Trump. McCarthy, embattled by what he described as “chaos” in the House after he negotiated a debt ceiling bill with President Joe Biden, called into question the merit of the case against Trump, fanning the MAGA conspiracy flames and suggesting ulterior motives at the Department of Justice.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Steven Pifer is among many who slammed McCarthy’s tweet undermining Special Counsel Jack Smith’s alleged actions, calling McCarthy’s statement “irresponsible” given his powerful possession and “false.”
What an irresponsible and false tweet.— Steven Pifer (@steven_pifer) June 9, 2023
As @SpeakerMcCarthy knows, #Biden did not indict #FormerGuy. A grand jury indicted him.
As McCarthy also knows, Biden reported classified documents and allowed his files to be searched. FBI needed search warrant for #FormerGuy. https://t.co/B3PY0vjECj
Pifer’s charge of irresponsibility rests in his implication that McCarthy is aware that his language is inauthentic and inflammatory. Pifer also asserts that McCarthy knows his statement isn’t true, as it paints a picture of President Biden personally indicting Trump, which is not how it works and McCarthy knows it, Pifer says.
Pifer is responding to McCarthy’s swift reaction on Twitter to news of the Trump indictment, even before specific charges were revealed. It’s a message that says McCarthy really doesn’t care what the charges are, but only about who they are against.
(The McCarthy logic follows that if the grand jury determined that, for example, Trump sold nuclear secrets to Middle East power broker Saudi Arabia, McCarthy’s defensive position would remain unchanged because his position is not based on facts in the case but instead on what he sees as its prejudiced origination. Note: GOP presidential contender Chris Christie is taking a very different approach, saying to wait for the facts.)
The Speaker writes: “It is unconscionable for a President to indict the leading candidate opposing him. Joe Biden kept classified documents for decades. I, and every American who believes in the rule of law, stand with President Trump against this grave injustice.”
[Note: Smith is an independent Special Counsel appointed by the Justice Department to pursue the Trump documents case. The DOJ also appointed a Special Counsel, Robert Hur, to pursue the Biden documents case.]
“McCarthy also knows,” Pifer writes, “Biden reported classified documents and allowed his files to be searched. FBI needed search warrant for [Trump].”