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Elon Musk suggested the bombshell indictment of former President Donald Trump over classified document mishandling may be a politically motivated attack.
The billionaire Twitter owner warned the 2024 frontrunner’s arrest sets a dangerous precedent that could erode public trust in the justice system if politicians are treated differently.
‘There does seem to be far higher interest in pursuing Trump compared to other people in politics,’ he tweeted on Friday.
‘Very important that the justice system rebut what appears to be differential enforcement or they will lose public trust.’
Twitter owner Elon Musk, pictured in May 2023, weighed in on the indictment of former President Donald Trump, warning it risks eroding public trust in the legal system
Musk tweeted that Trump is being pursued with a ‘far higher interest’ than other politicians
Musk’s remarks came after Trump made history as the first former president to face federal charges, just months after he was also indicted in New York on charges related to a hush money payment made to porn star Stormy Daniels.
The former president is facing over 100 years behind bars for a slew of federal charges related to the mishandling of classified information.
The 76-year-old on Thursday said he had been told he was being indicted in relation to espionage – the first time in U.S. history that a former president has faced federal charges.
Trump is facing four separate counts each carrying a potential prison time of 20 years: conspiracy to obstruct justice; withholding a document or record; corruptly concealing a document or record; and concealing a document in a federal investigation.
One count carries a 10 year sentence: willful retention of national defense information.
And the final two counts have a maximum of five years each: scheme to conceal, and false statements and representations.
Trump slammed his indictment and insisted that he is an ‘innocent man’. He is pictured speaking in the White House in May 2020
Trump took to Truth Social to hit back at the prosecution, arguing his rival President Joe Biden should be investigated for the same crimes he is accused of
The indictment was announced by Trump on Thursday evening in a furious tirade posted to his social media site Truth Social.
‘The corrupt Biden Administration has informed my attorneys that I have been Indicted, seemingly over the Boxes Hoax, even though Joe Biden has 1850 Boxes at the University of Delaware,’ he said.
‘(There are) additional Boxes in Chinatown, D.C., with even more Boxes at the University of Pennsylvania, and documents strewn all over his garage floor where he parks his Corvette, and which is ‘secured’ by only a garage door that is paper thin, and open much of the time.’
Trump was alluding to allegations that Joe Biden also mishandled classified materials, with the president’s own legal team reporting that they found a small number of documents at his Delaware home and in a DC think tank.
Later on Thursday, he posted a video that the New York Times said was pre-recorded, where he hit out at the charges and insisted he is ‘innocent’.
‘Very sadly we’re a nation in decline and yet they go after a very popular president,’ Trump said.
‘I’m an innocent man, I did nothing wrong,’ he continued, vowing to ‘fight this out.’
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Trump also said he would ‘of course’ plead not guilty.
Security is already being increased around the courthouse in Miami ahead of his appearance before a judge, scheduled for 3pm on Tuesday.
Trump is accused of mishandling classified documents. Pictured: A stack of boxes stored in the ballroom of the Mar-a-Lago estate
An FBI raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in August found a trove of classified documents (pictured)
News of his indictment was met with outrage by Trump’s fellow Republicans, with even his main 2024 rival Ron DeSantis declaring the ‘weaponization of federal law enforcement represents a mortal threat to a free society’.
However, the Florida governor stopped short of saying whether he would pardon Trump if he was convicted.
‘We have for years witnessed an uneven application of the law depending upon political affiliation,’ he said.
‘Why so zealous in pursuing Trump yet so passive about Hillary or Hunter? The DeSantis administration will bring accountability to the DOJ, excise political bias and end weaponization once and for all.’
With some GOP lawmakers seemingly unsure whether to speak out soon after the indictment, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy led the way in jumping to Trump’s defense, labelling the indictment as ‘a dark day for the United States of America’.
‘It is unconscionable for a President to indict the leading candidate opposing him. Joe Biden kept classified documents for decades,’ he continued.
‘I, and every American who believes in the rule of law, stand with President Trump against this grave injustice.
‘House Republicans will hold this brazen weaponization of power accountable.’
Ron DeSantis defended his 2024 Republican rival Donald Trump, but stopped short on saying whether he would pardon him if elected president
Jack Smith was appointed in November as special counsel to investigate Trump’s handling of classified information
Prosecutors have investigated the transfer of presidential files to his Mar-a-Lago Florida estate since last year.
The investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents is being overseen by a special counsel, Jack Smith, who was appointed by the Attorney General Merrick Garland in November.
In response to Smith’s landmark decision to prosecute, Trump lashed out at the attorney and branded him a ‘deranged psycho’.
Trump linked him to an IRS ‘targeting’ scandal and called him a ‘Trump Hater’, maintaining he should be investigating his rival President Joe Biden instead.
‘This is the man who caused the Lois Lerner catastrophe with the IRS. He went after Evangelicals and Great Americans of Faith,’ Trump said, referencing Smith’s time as head of DOJ’s Public Integrity Section amid the probe of IRS investigations of Tea Party groups.
‘His wife is a Trump Hater, just as he is a Trump Hater—a deranged “psycho” that shouldn’t be involved in any case having to do with “Justice,” other than to look at Biden as a criminal, which he is!’ Trump fumed.