Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said nothing about former President Donald Trump’s indictment this week, even as several House Republicans have condemned the charges as politically motivated.
Since Trump’s indictment was reported Thursday, McConnell has issued no public statements on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s criminal case against the former president and leading Republican 2024 candidate. Neither has Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., the No. 2 Republican in the Senate.
McConnell’s office told Fox News Digital that it did not have a comment as of Friday. Thune’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
McConnell and Trump are not on good terms — McConnell said in December that Trump is ‘diminished’ and blamed the former president for the GOP’s disappointing performance in the 2022 midterm elections. Trump, who holds a grudge against the Senate GOP leader for refusing to go along with his claims that the 2020 election was stolen, called McConnell a ‘tremendous liability for the Republican Party’ in an interview with Fox News.
McConnell’s silence stands in stark contrast to his counterpart in the House of Representatives. After news of the indictment broke, Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., slammed Bragg and said that he ‘has irreparably damaged our country in an attempt to interfere in our Presidential election.’
‘As he routinely frees violent criminals to terrorize the public, he weaponized our sacred system of justice against President Donald Trump,’ McCarthy said of Bragg. ‘The American people will not tolerate this injustice, and the House of Representatives will hold Alvin Bragg and his unprecedented abuse of power to account.’
McCarthy’s lieutenant, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., called the indictment a ‘sham’ and accused ‘extremist Democrats’ of ‘weaponizing government to attack their political opponents.’
The criminal charges against Trump came after a years-long investigation into payments made to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal in 2016 allegedly to keep them quite about their previous affairs with Trump while he was running for president.
Trump has denied the affairs and any wrongdoing. Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York opted out of charging Trump related to the Daniels payment in 2019.
The Federal Election Commission also tossed its investigation into the matter in 2021.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and other Republicans sent a letter to Bragg last week demanding that he turn over documents related to his Trump investigation and testify before Congress, asserting that the DA’s investigation must be politically motivated.
Bragg’s office blasted back Friday, accusing the House lawmakers of ‘unlawful political interference’ in an ongoing criminal case.
While McConnell and Thune have said nothing so far, other Senate GOP leaders have spoken out against the indictment. The No. 3 Republican, Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wy., called it a ‘politically motivated prosecution by a far-left activist.’
‘If it was anyone other than President Trump, a case like this would never be brought. Instead of ordering political hit jobs, New York prosecutors should focus on getting violent criminals off the street,’ Barrasso said in a statement to Fox News Digital.
Republican Policy Committee Chairman Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Sen. Steve Daines, R-Mont., each gave similar statements.
Trump is expected to be arraigned in a Manhattan court on Tuesday, a law enforcement source told Fox News. Sources familiar say Trump will surrender himself and be taken into custody without handcuffs. Detectives with Bragg’s office will handle the arrest.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Marta Dhanis contributed to this report.