TAMPA, Florida (FloridaToday.news) — Florida Gov. and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis told CNN’s Jake Tupper on Tuesday that he hopes former President Donald Trump will not be charged in connection with Jan. 6.
“I hope he doesn’t get charged,” DeSantis said. “I don’t think it will be good for the country.”
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DeSantis said that if he became president, he would make “big changes” at the Justice Department and appoint a new FBI director on the first day.
“You have a situation where the Justice Department and the FBI are using guns against people they don’t like,” DeSantis said.
Tupper asked DeSantis if he thought Trump should be charged if there was evidence of a crime.
“This country is on the path to criminalizing political differences,” DeSantis said, without directly answering the question. “I think it’s wrong”.
A man jailed for attending a Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville has been arrested in connection with Jan. 6.
DeSantis said he wanted to look ahead and discuss the future of the country and what he called the failures of President Joe Biden.
Tupper said the pollster told him that Republican voters see him as less elected the further he moves to the right in certain positions.
DeSantis has largely downplayed concerns about his campaign and poor polling results.
While DeSantis was once seen as a major threat to Trump’s power in the party – and remains his strongest challenger – he has so far failed to catch fire. His weekend campaign confirmed that she fired several employees over runaway spending concerns, while polls show Trump leading Trump by 20 to 30 points or more, even after a couple of criminal charges that seemed to only strengthened his position.
On Tuesday, Trump said he had received a letter saying he was under investigation by the Justice Department in connection with attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, indicating that he could soon be charged by U.S. prosecutors.
New federal charges, in addition to existing state and federal charges in New York and Florida, and a separate election interference investigation nearing completion in Georgia, will add to the list of legal challenges for Trump as he seeks the Republican presidential nomination. in 2024.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.