Republican lawmakers decried, in the strongest terms, the indictment and trial this week of former President Donald Trump, but few echoed Trump’s call to defund the Justice Department and the FBI.
The day after pleading not guilty in New York to 34 felony counts of falsifying a business record, Trump posted “Congressional Republicans Should Defund the Justice Department and FBI Until They Come to Their Sense.” This was an apparent response to the Department of Justice’s investigation into whether he abetted the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol and his handling of classified documents at his personal residence in Florida.
Minnesota GOP lawmakers, who denounced Trump’s indictment, have remained silent about the former president’s call for funding to be stripped from federal law enforcement.
On Tuesday, the day Trump subpoenaed Representative Tom Emmer (R-6)y District, for example, tweeted “Today is a historic low for our nation. The Democratic Party has proven there is nothing they won’t do to hold on to power – even if it means weaponizing our justice system to target a political opponent.”
The next day, Emmer also participated in a Wednesday run with the St. Louis Police Department.
“Today’s tour focused on the urgent need to support our police,” Emmer said in a statement.
While Trump’s calls to defund the Justice Department have some GOP leaders in Congress worried it undermines their campaign to portray Democrats as soft on crime, a few of the former president’s allies agreed with the former president. One of them was House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who also advocated cutting funds to the Justice Department and the FBI.
“We control the strength of the portfolio… We’re going to have to look at the appropriations process and limit the money that goes to some of these agencies, particularly those that engage in the most egregious behavior,” Jordan said on Fox News.
Meanwhile, the Democrats have been mostly adamant about the decision to impeach and impeach Trump, despite the inner joy felt by many.
“How great it is to come to a political rally where we talk about solutions and the future,” Minnesota Governor Tim Walz said at an event with President Biden in Fridley this week.
The event, at the facilities of the engine maker Cummins, was meant to promote Biden’s clean energy initiatives.
Clarence Thomas’ travels sparked calls for moral reform in the Supreme Court
And some lawmakers, including several from Minnesota, are calling for action after a ProPublica report Thursday detailed Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ undisclosed relationships with megastar Harlan Crowe.
For Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minnesota, the solution was obvious.
“Clarence Thomas has proven what we’ve come to expect all along – the Supreme Court is beholden to right-wing corporate interest groups and billionaire mega-donors,” Smith wrote on Twitter. “The court is broken. The constitutional remedy is clear—expand the court.”
ProPublica reported that Thomas, a prominent conservative on the Supreme Court, “accepted luxury trips almost every year” from Crewe for more than two decades without reporting them. Thomas’ failure to disclose the trips appears to violate a law that requires judges, members of Congress and other federal officials to report on most gifts, including private jet flights.
Judges are prohibited from accepting gifts from anyone who has business before the court. But until the rules were amended last month, there was no clear definition of an exemption from disclosing gifts that counted as “personal hospitality.” Crowe told The Washington Post that he was only offering Thomas and his wife, Virginia, “personal hospitality.”
Democratic lawmakers seized on the ProPublica report to demand stricter ethics rules for federal judges.
“Supreme Court justices must be held to the highest ethical standards so that the American people can trust that they make their decisions based on facts and the law,” said Senator Amy Klobuchar, R-Minnesota. We need a clear, enforceable code of ethics that applies to the Supreme Court.
Rep. Angie Craig, D-2Abbreviation II The district, which has co-sponsored a bill in the House of Representatives that would require the United States Judicial Conference to issue a code of conduct that would apply to the Supreme Court, also called for stricter ethics.
“The American people must trust the integrity and independence of the Supreme Court, and Congress must put an end to this corruption,” Craig said. “It is too long ago for the Supreme Court to abide by a code of conduct and I will continue to press for government ethics reform.”
Last year, Rep. Betty McCollum, D-4y District, and subsequently demanded that Thomas resign, saying Justice and his wife promoted and tried to cover up Trump’s false claims about a stolen presidential election.
“Recent reports of these privately funded trips, which have not been released to the public in decades, only deepen these concerns,” said a spokesperson for McCollum.
Meanwhile, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, of Denmark, was among the first lawmakers to call for Thomas’ removal.
“This is beyond partisanship or partisanship. This degree of corruption is appalling – almost cartoonish. Thomas should be impeached,” she said.
The offices of Minnesota Republican lawmakers did not respond to requests for comment.