Donald Trump’s rivals in the race to be the Republican nominee for president are reacting to the former president’s indictment.
Here’s what some of them have said:
Ron DeSantis: People close to DeSantis’ political operation told CNN after the indictment was unsealed Friday that they do not expect him to deviate from the statement he made the day prior.
The Florida governor tweeted Thursday, “The weaponization of federal law enforcement represents a mortal threat to a free society. We have for years witnessed an uneven application of the law depending upon political affiliation.”
“Why so zealous in pursuing Trump yet so passive about Hillary or Hunter? The DeSantis administration will bring accountability to the DOJ, excise political bias and end weaponization once and for all,” he added.
A Republican fundraiser close to the campaign said Friday that within the governor’s close circle of confidants, there is not a push for him to change his posture toward Trump’s alleged actions. They have been satisfied with the tack he has taken since Trump’s first indictment in March, according to the fundraiser.
Nikki Haley: The former South Carolina governor and ambassador to the United Nations released a statement Friday that characterized the indictment as “prosecutorial overreach,” adding that it was time to “beyond the endless drama and distractions.”
“This is not how justice should be pursued in our country,” Haley said.
Chris Christie: On the heels of the indictment, Christie’s super PAC “Tell It Like It Is” is launching its first TV ad of the 2024 cycle this weekend. The spot takes a direct shot at the former president’s qualifications to run.
“The latest round of indictments serve as another reminder that the Republican Party needs a new direction,” Colin Reed, senior adviser for Tell It Like It Is PAC, said Friday.
The former New Jersey governor tweeted Thursday that “no one is above the law.”
“Let’s see what the facts are when any possible indictment is released. As I have said before, no one is above the law, no matter how much they wish they were. We will have more to say when the facts are revealed,” he wrote.
Asa Hutchinson: The former Arkansas governor – who said he read through the indictment against Trump after it was unsealed Friday – called the charges against the former president “serious” and argued that Republicans should not lightly dismiss the indictment.
On Thursday night, Hutchinson had called for Trump to drop out of the 2024 race after the former president said he has been indicted.
He doubled down in an interview with CNN on Friday, arguing that Trump should end his campaign “for the good of the country and for the good of the office of presidency.”
Mike Pence: Before the indictment was unsealed Friday, the former vice president called on US Attorney General Merrick Garland to release the document so Americans can “judge for themselves whether this is just the latest incident of weaponization and politicization at the Justice Department or it’s something different.”
Pence had also said he thought any demands for Trump to suspend his campaign had been “premature,” saying “everyone is innocent until proven guilty” and that Trump has a right to make his defense.
Pence did not acknowledge a question about his reaction to the indictment’s unsealing later Friday as he met with New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu.
Vivek Ramaswamy: The entrepreneur released a statement Thursday saying, “This is an affront to every citizen: we cannot devolve into a banana republic where the party in power uses police force to arrest its political opponents.”
Ramaswamy also repeated his pledge to pardon Trump should he be elected.
CNN’s Kit Maher, Omar Jimenez and Brian Rokus contributed to this reporting.