On Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida made it clear that he would not assist in the extradition of former President Donald Trump, who was recently indicted in New York. Although reports suggest that Trump plans to surrender voluntarily, DeSantis stated that his state would not be involved in the matter.
The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head.
It is un-American.
The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is…
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 30, 2023
He wrote on Twitter, “The weaponization of the legal system to advance a political agenda turns the rule of law on its head. It is un-American.”
“The Soros-backed Manhattan District Attorney has consistently bent the law to downgrade felonies and to excuse criminal misconduct. Yet, now he is stretching the law to target a political opponent,” he continued.
This decision aligns the governor with other Republicans who have come out in support of Trump, despite his legal troubles. It also mirrors the party’s full-throated support for Trump in the aftermath of the FBI’s search of his residence at Mar-a-Lago last August.
On Twitter, DeSantis spelled out how he would use his power in Florida to fight against the New York indictment, “Florida will not assist in an extradition request given the questionable circumstances at issue with this Soros-backed Manhattan prosecutor and his political agenda.”
DeSantis had previously stated that he would not get involved in Trump’s indictment, but his decision to criticize it now is significant because he is expected to challenge Trump for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024. Trump and his supporters have accused DeSantis of being disloyal for not defending him.
Under Florida law, the governor has the power to intervene in an extradition matter if it is contested. However, Trump’s lawyers have indicated that he plans to surrender, so there is no need for the governor to take action.
DeSantis’ position on the indictment has been closely watched because of his expected candidacy for president. In recent weeks, Trump and his allies have attacked DeSantis over his previous comments on Trump’s legal troubles, when he questioned the payment of hush money to a porn star.
The governor’s decision to side with Trump on this issue may be a calculated political move to win over the former president’s supporters. However, it is also possible that DeSantis genuinely believes in Trump’s innocence and is standing up for him on principle.
Regardless of his motives, DeSantis’ decision to criticize the indictment is likely to further polarize an already deeply divided political landscape. As the 2024 presidential election approaches, the Republican party will have to decide whether to continue to align itself with Trump or to move in a different direction. DeSantis’ position on this issue could play a key role in shaping the party’s future.