July 27th, 2023

by Julia Shapero

House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) argued Thursday that the newest charges brought against former President Trump over his handling of classified materials show that “our justice system is broken.”

“The American people understand that Joe Biden and his administration are engulfed in one of the biggest political corruption scandals of all time,” Stefanik said in a statement.

“It is no coincidence that the day after a federal judge throws out Hunter Biden’s corrupt, sweetheart plea bargain, Biden’s weaponized [Department of Justice] continues its witch hunt against President Trump,” she added. “Our Republic is in peril, our justice system is broken.”

In a superseding indictment filed Thursday night, the Justice Department accused the former president of attempting to delete surveillance footage at his Mar-a-Lago property, with the help of co-defendant Walt Nauta and Carlos de Oliveira, the hotel’s property manager and a new defendant in the case.

The new indictment, which includes an additional Espionage Act charge over a military document that Trump boasted of having at a 2021 meeting, brings the total numbers of charges against the former president to 40. He pleaded not guilty to the original 37-count indictment last month.

Like Stefanik, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) also accused the Justice Department on Thursday of attempting to distract from Hunter Biden’s plea deal, which was placed on hold Wednesday.

“Is it any coincidence that the [Justice Department] rushes to add these new indictments today, after the Hunter debacle, after their own self-dealing and two-timing is exposed, after they tried to hide from us the true extent of this plea deal,” Hawley said on Fox News.

“That gets blown up, and then it’s like, ‘Oh well, we’ve got to go indict Trump on something else,’” he added.

The president’s son was expected to plead guilty to two misdemeanor counts of willful failure to pay income taxes at Wednesday’s hearing to formalize the plea agreement. However, the presiding judge raised concerns about the parameters of the deal and gave the parties 30 days to explain why it should be approved.

See the fully story from The Hill here.