Kevin McCarthy declares 'dark day' after Trump indictment

 June 12, 2023

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has been struggling to keep Republicans together, with right-wing members blocking legislative business after his debt ceiling deal with the White House re-opened fractures in the caucus.

But one thing is uniting Republicans: the Biden administration's unprecedented indictment of Donald Trump under the Espionage Act.

McCarthy declared Friday "a dark day" after the indictment was unsealed. 

"Today is indeed a dark day for the United States of America," McCarthy tweeted. "It is unconscionable for a President to indict the leading candidate opposing him. Joe Biden kept classified documents for decades," McCarthy tweeted.

"Dark day"

McCarthy is pledging to use the power of his narrow House majority to check what many see as a breathtaking abuse of power. Many say the indictment fits a pattern of unequal justice that has seen politically connected Democrats like Biden and Hillary Clinton walk free.

Adding to the ominous optics is the fact that Trump is the leading candidate to challenge Biden in the 2024 presidential election.

"I, and every American who believes in the rule of law, stand with President Trump against this grave injustice. House Republicans will hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable," McCarthy wrote.

Blockade over?

McCarthy, a Trump ally, won the Speaker's gavel in January after a drawn-out battle with some of the party's most conservative members.

But divisions have opened up again since McCarthy reached a debt ceiling deal with the White House that fell short of McCarthy's lofty promises to control reckless spending.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus started a legislative blockade last week, before reaching a tentative agreement with McCarthy to end the standoff on Monday.

“The only thing we agreed to is that we’ll sit down and talk more of the process," McCarthy told reporters.

Trump unites fractured House GOP

The agreement comes as House Republicans have rallied behind Trump, with even Trump critics like South Carolina's Nancy Mace (SC) saying he isn't being treated fairly.

But in the Senate, where Republican support for Trump has always been softer than in the House, Republicans aren't as eager to defend the former president.

Longtime Trump foe Mitt Romney (R-UT) did not withhold his opinion, saying Trump "brought these charges upon himself."

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