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Tags: mitch mcconnell | donald trump | arraignment | arraigned | felony | silent

McConnell Steers Clear of Trump's Legal Woes

By    |   Wednesday, 05 April 2023 08:42 AM EDT

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn't spoken with former President Donald Trump since December 2020, and on Tuesday, while Trump was being arraigned in Manhattan and pleading not guilty to 34 felony counts, the Kentucky Republican and his top deputies remained silent.

McConnell not only didn't make a statement in response to Trump's court proceedings, but he kept quiet when the news of Trump's indictment broke last week, reports The Hill.

Tuesday, he issued a statement to welcome Finland's becoming a member of NATO.

McConnell does not feel the pressure other Republicans have to back Trump, Al Cross, a professor at the University of Kentucky who has long commented on the senator's career, said.

"He has steeled himself to resist the typical politician's urge to talk and it's paid off for him," said Cross. "You don't get in trouble for something you didn't say. His strategy with Trump has been to not come close to that kryptonite, and let other people do the talking and work behind the scenes."

Cross also speculated that McConnell "probably sees other things coming" with Trump, who could face additional indictments in other cases.

"There will be other shoes to drop, and I expect Mitch McConnell knows more about Donald Trump's situation than we do," he said. "He is one of the most influential and best-informed people in the country and has all kinds of sources of information."

McConnell has also been trying to steer away from Trump's influence in party politics, telling reporters in February that GOP leaders are "focusing now to try to get the very most electable candidates nominated" in West Virginia, Montana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., however, had a far different reaction to Trump's legal problems, tweeting that Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is "attempting to interfere in our democratic process by invoking federal law to bring politicized charges against President Trump, admittedly using federal funds, while at the same time arguing that the peoples' representatives in Congress lack jurisdiction to investigate this farce. Not so. Bragg's weaponization of the federal justice process will be held accountable by Congress."

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, has been one of Trump's biggest critics, but still criticized Bragg, warning that the prosecutor's "overreach sets a dangerous precedent for criminalizing political opponents and damages the public's faith in our justice system."

Other Republicans in the Senate are divided over whether Congress should join the legal battle through an investigation of Bragg and withholding federal grants from his office.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who advises the Senate Republican leadership team, said last month that he thinks House Republicans should remain focused on the agenda that got them elected, rather than fighting Bragg.

However, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., who advises the Senate GOP team, said that "Congress has every right to demand answers and accountability from the Manhattan D.A.'s office."

Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hasn't spoken with former President Donald Trump since December 2020, and on Tuesday, while Trump was being arraigned in Manhattan, the Kentucky Republican and his top deputies remained silent.
mitch mcconnell, donald trump, arraignment, arraigned, felony, silent
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2023-42-05
Wednesday, 05 April 2023 08:42 AM
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