Former Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger called Kevin McCarthy’s criticism of the latest charges against Donald Trump “complete garbage” after the House speaker claimed Democrats made similar allegations about elections in the past and were not prosecuted.
“He knows better,” Kinzinger told CNN of McCarthy. “He knows that’s complete garbage. Even the base would look at that and go, ‘That’s not the same thing.’ It doesn’t make an ounce of sense.”
Trump was indicted Tuesday on four charges related to his efforts to remain in power after losing the 2020 presidential election. The former president pleaded not guilty to the charges in a Washington DC federal court on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters after Trump’s arraignment, McCarthy criticized the Justice Department for not prosecuting Democrats who made similar allegations about past elections after their loss.
“Were any of them prosecuted? Were any of them put in jail?” McCarthy said. “When Hillary Clinton said it, nothing happened to her. When they said it in Georgia’s election, nothing happened to them either. You know what, when the DNC said it, nothing happened to them either.”
Trump was arraigned on four charges: conspiracy to defraud the United States; conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding; obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding; and conspiracy against rights.
The indictment says Trump “was determined to remain in power” despite losing the election.
To attain that goal, the indictment says the former president “spread lies that there had been outcome-determinative fraud in the election and that he had actually won.”
“These claims were false, and the defendant knew they were false,” but “repeated and widely disseminated them anyway,” the indictment adds.