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The case for the document: Partially sharp Republican criticism of Trump

After the charges against Donald Trump in the document case, many Republican leaders criticized the former US president for his handling of classified information. On top US political talk shows over the weekend, Trump’s former defense secretary, Mark Esper, sharply criticized his former boss, but Republican presidential candidates such as Mike Pence and Asa Hutchinson also criticized Trump’s behavior.

The comments contrasted sharply with those of many Republican lawmakers who have either defended or dismissed criticism of Trump.

Trump pleaded not guilty to all 37 counts in Tuesday’s first court hearing. The leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination is accused of, among other things, illegally maintaining classified files at his private residence in Mar-a-Lago, Florida.

Candidacy withdrawal request

Hutchinson, the former governor of the US state of Arkansas, called the allegations “serious and disqualifying” on ABC. In his opinion, Trump should “drop out” of the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

If the claim that the files contain information about the country’s security is true, former Secretary of Defense Esper said on CNN that it could be “very harmful to the nation,” calling the revelations “disturbing.” “No one is above the law,” he continued.

Pence is skeptical but against prejudice

“I can’t defend those accused of it,” former US Vice President Pence told NBC. However, he did not want to issue a ruling before Trump had a chance to present his case in court.

Trump allegedly took relevant documents with him from the White House to Mar-a-Lago at the end of his term in January 2021. The former president denied the allegations and described the indictment as an attempt by the government of his successor, Joe Biden, to sideline him politically.

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After the court session, Trump spoke of “the most heinous and heinous abuse of power in the history of our country.” Many Republicans supported the former president’s allegations.