DeSantis, Pence And Other Potential 2024 Contenders React To Trump Raid

(REUTERS/Octavio Jones, REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo, REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Shelby Talcott Senior White House Correspondent
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Multiple potential 2024 Republican presidential contenders have reacted in the wake of the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago, with some contrasting the incident with the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) investigation into Hunter Biden.

News broke Monday evening that the FBI executed a search warrant at former President Donald Trump’s Florida resort. The raid was reportedly related to a DOJ investigation into Trump’s possible mishandling of classified documents. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Trump 2024 Is Almost Certainly Happening, His Associates Say, And The 2020 Election Will Be Front And Center)

A slew of Republicans, including some seen as eyeing a possible 2024 presidential run, rushed to decry the raid. Some potential 2024 contenders argued the Trump raid represented hypocrisy from the DOJ, citing how the department has handled its investigation into President Joe Biden’s son.

Hunter Biden is under federal investigation regarding taxes and his business dealings, as CBS News previously reported.

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, one of Trump’s toughest potential contenders should they both run, tweeted that the Mar-a-Lago raid represented “another escalation in the weaponization of federal agencies against the Regime’s political opponents.” Meanwhile, DeSantis wrote, “people like Hunter Biden get treated with kid gloves.”

DeSantis’ communications director Taryn Fenske reportedly noted the governor’s office did not have prior knowledge of the Mar-a-Lago raid.

Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who ran a 2016 presidential campaign against Trump, also slammed the incident. Cruz tweeted that “this same DOJ” ignored a host of other situations, including those involving Hunter Biden.

“The FBI raiding Donald Trump is unprecedented,” Cruz added. “It is corrupt & an abuse of power. What Nixon tried to do, Biden has now implemented: The Biden Admin has fully weaponized DOJ & FBI to target their political enemies.”

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo drew comparisons as well, tweeting Tuesday morning that the DOJ “slow-rolls and looks the other way on Hunter Biden” while raiding Trump’s resort. Pompeo has, in recent months, sparked speculation regarding his 2024 plans, suggesting to Fox News in August that his decision won’t depend on whether Trump decides to run.

“Executing a warrant against ex-POTUS is dangerous,” Pompeo also tweeted. “The apparent political weaponization of DOJ/FBI is shameful. AG must explain why 250 yrs of practice was upended w/ this raid. I served on Benghazi Com where we proved Hilliary possessed classified info. We didn’t raid her home.” (RELATED: ‘They’re Walking Away From Him’: Former Trump Chief Of Staff Casts Doubt On Biden 2024)

Meanwhile, other potential 2024 candidates slammed the FBI raid more generally. Nikki Haley, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, reacted to the news by highlighting that Americans “‘should’ be able to trust their government.”

Haley honed in on the DOJ and FBI’s silence, tweeting that “if they won’t comment, then Biden owes it to the American people to answer for his agencies.” Should Biden fail to do so, Haley called on Congress to act.

Former Vice President Mike Pence, another individual eyeing a presidential run, broke his silence late Tuesday morning. Pence appeared to side with Trump, although the two have become distant and are now viewed as rivals as the midterm elections heat up.

Pence, in a statement posted to Twitter, expressed “deep concern … over the unprecedented search of the personal residence of President Trump.” He, too, called on the incident – which he described as having “the appearance of continued partisanship” – to be addressed.

“Yesterday’s action undermines public confidence in our system of justice and Attorney General Garland must give a full accounting to the American people as to why this action was taken and he must do so immediately,” Pence added.

Republican South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who hasn’t ruled out a 2024 presidential run but suggested in July that she’d back Trump if he made a bid, issued a statement similar to Pence.

Noem referred to the raid as the “unprecedented political weaponization of the Justice Department” and suggested the DOJ has been after Trump for years.

“Using the criminal justice system in this manner is un-American,” Noem tweeted Monday evening.